Another game at the Huntsman Center and another comfortable victory for the Utes as they turned a close halftime contest into a double digit win over Stanford. Dallin Bachynski and Brekkott Chapman stole the show off of the bench while Jordan Loveridge keyed a big second half run to keep the Utes perfect at home this season. Average Pac 12 margin of victory in Salt Lake City this season? 23.3 points per game. MOARSWEETGRASS.
What We Liked
-The Bachynski Show. The backup senior center went for 13 points and 6 rebounds, filling in for an ineffective and foul-prone Poeltl. Two 'buzzer-beaters' and a new-found outside game have him on a roll.
-Second Half Loveridge. Jordan was nowhere to be found in the first half, but showed a lot of aggressiveness in round 2, leading to 12 game points. He actually attempted more 2s than 3s.
-The Future is Brekkott Chapman. He'll be a star at Utah, and gets better every single game. The freshman's confidence, sweet stroke, and versatility impacts that game in so many ways, and he did it against Stanford with 12 points (on only 6 shot attempts), 5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal.
-Randle Shutdown. Stanford guard Chasson Randle scored 10 on the night (half of his season average), but most of those came in garbage time when the Utes had a commanding lead. A great job on the conference's leading scorer.
-Free Throw Champs. 20 of 24 will get the job done every day of the week and twice on Sunday. That's how you close out games, and the Utes' success at the line this year bodes well for tournament play.
What We Didn't Like
-Foul Trouble For Poeltl. 4 fouls in 13 minutes due to his matchup with the very physical Nastic. Maybe a blessing in disguise for Utah as this proves that he's not ready for the physical nature of the NBA next year and would be best served to come back.
-First Half Second Chances. The Utes cleaned it up in the 2nd frame, but the only thing keeping Stanford around for the first 20 minutes was a bevy of offensive rebounds.
-The Timekeeper. Stanford had a serious gripe on a 3 by Loveridge that was well after the shot clock had expired. The light didn't go off. The buzzer was late. Bachynski's first shot-clock buzzer beater was eerily similar. Worked for Utah, but this is Pac 12 basketball, not the West Coast Conference. Things like this shouldn't happen.
A Sunday night (YAY!) affair at home against a Cal team that has won 5 straight after dropping their previous 6. 3 of those wins were on the road, including Thursday night at Colorado, but none of the victories are over teams that are currently projected to be in the NCAA tournament.
Utes Run Away From Cardinal
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