Utes handle Grand Canyon 79-54
It wasn't the prettiest performance from the Utes, but it was still good enough to get the win. Utah jumped out to an 11-2 lead on the Antelopes and it looked like the Utes were ready to dismantle yet another team on their non-conference schedule. Credit to the Antelopes, who were coached by former NBA player Dan Marjele, as they never gave up on the game. Every time the Utes would extend their lead to 25 or more points, Grand Canyon would make a run and get within 15 points. That's about all the drama this game had.
Jordan Loveridge had another double-double as he went off for 15 points and 15 rebounds. He also added 3 assists and a steal in 31 minutes of play. Delon Wright stuffed the stat sheet again by registering a team-high 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Local product and freshman guard Parker Van Dyke had a career high 12 points, 1 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in 18 minutes. Coach Krystkowiak was very pleased with how Parker played, "Parker, I think, is a little bit ahead of the curve when it comes to a lot of freshman. He's stepping out of his element; he's leading and communicating defensively." Center Dallin Bachynski made his season debut for Utah after coming off a high ankle sprain; Krystkowiak called him "a man possessed" in practice this week which is what Utah needs out on the floor. Dallin played just 12 minutes, but was able to get 10 rebounds and score 5 points for the Utes.
25-point wins are always fun for fans, but there were some reasons for concern in tonight's game. Utah finished the game with 14 assists and 15 turnovers. That is a horrible assist to turnover ratio and something that must be corrected very soon for the Utes. Another struggle for the Utes in the young season has been free throw shooting. Tonight, the Utes were awful again by making just 15 of 28 from the charity stripe. These are a few areas that Utah is struggling with, but are areas that can be corrected fairly quickly. Utah's scheduling is far from daunting and they will need to treat every game seriously or one of these teams may sneak up on the Utes.
There were obviously some positives that happened on the night. Utah crashed the boards throughout and outrebounded Grand Canyon 49-33, with 34 of Utah's rebounds coming on the defensive end. Utah was also able to force 12 turnovers on the Antelopes. Utah had another strong defensive night and Grand Canyon only shot 32% from the field.
Utah has been playing about a game a week so far and Krystkowiak is excited to see how his team responds to 3 games in 3 nights. The Utah coaches have been looking at film of both Lamar and Savannah State and are excited for the challenge that each team brings. Utah will look to improve to 4-0 as they take on Lamar tomorrow night at 7 in the Global Sports Hoops Showcase.
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