In a game of poor shooting by both teams, Utah outlasts SMU 62-53 and gets their 7th win on the season, already surpassing the 6-win total last season.
Utah started out the game very sluggish particularly on offense. After taking more than a week off due to finals, it was not too much of a surprise to see the Utes come out a little slow. The thing that did surprise me was how long it took the Utes to get going. Up until late in the second half, Utah played very sloppy basketball and were lucky to still be in this game. While shooting just 36% from the field and committing 9 turnovers in the first half alone, Utah managed to lead 31-28 at the half.
Thinking the Utes would come out in the second half with a little more energy, much of the same sluggish performance was displayed. Coming off the bench, freshman Brandon Taylor provided a great spark for the Utes and was really what got the team going. While finishing with 10 points (4-6 from the field), 1 assist, and a steal, much of what Tucker provided for the team is untold by the stat sheet.
With improved shooting late and a technical foul which lead to an ejection of an SMU assistant coach, The Utes pulled away from the Mustangs and won their seventh game of the season.
Overall, not an impressive game by the Utes. As Coach Krystkowiak illustrated in the post game press conference, there are going to be games like this where you just need to grind-it-out all game long. He stated that, "I wanted to throw up all game", and that although winning by 30 every game would be nice, that's just not the way things go.
The one positive thing that I take away from this game was the free throw shooting. Utah did an excellent job from the line making 17 of 19, and ultimately could be the reason why the Utes were able to win this game.
Utah's next game is this Friday the 21st, as the Utes take on Cal State Northridge. Tip-off at 8:30 at the Huntsman Center.
Utah vs. SMU Post Game
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