Runnin' Utes defeat Ball State
The Utah Utes faced their toughest challenge of the season Wednesday night as they hosted the Ball State Cardinals. Delon Wright led the Utes to their 6th victory of the season as they defeated the Cardinals 88-69. Going into the game, Ball State was going to give the Utes their toughest challenge of the season and despite the 19-point victory, the game was somewhat close in the second half. Utah kept Ball State at arms length and was never seriously threatened by the road team. There was a stretch in the second half when the lead would go from 8 to 10 points repeatedly and the Utes were forced to find ways to keep scoring. The Cardinals closed the gap to 56-50 before Delon Wright went on a personal 5-0 run to give the Utes some breathing room. The Utes needed someone to step up and make a play and Delon was able to be that guy for Utah. Utah's other star, Jordan Loveridge, had a poor game tonight, but was still able to do some nice things on the floor. After the game, Larry said that he let other factors in the game distract him and caused to lose focus a bit. Loveridge finished the night with 7 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Princeton Onwas got his first start at Utah, taking the starting spot from Dakari Tucker. Onwas had a nice game and earned a double-double by scoring 13 points and 10 rebounds; he also added 2 assists and a steal. Princeton really provided a nice spark for the Utes, and dominated the game for a few minutes early in the second half. I asked Coach Krystkowiak about Princeton starting over Dakari and Larry said not to read too much into it and a lot of had to do with the match-up in tonight's game. Tucker had a nice game scoring 9 points and getting 3 rebounds in just 14 minutes of play. The versatility of the Utes roster was on display tonight and Larry now has the ability to switch up lineups based on specific match-ups; a luxury he hasn't had his first two years at Utah.
Utah will now go on the road to take on the Boise State Broncos Tuesday night at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Id. The Broncos are 5-0 with wins over Texas-Arlington, Simpson, Seattle, New Orleans and Idaho. Last year, Utah squashed the Broncos 76-55 in what was the first game after legendary Ute coach Rick Majerus passes away. This game will be on CBSSN and will be a huge opportunity for them to get a signature win in the young season.
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