On an electric night at the Huntsman Center that hadn't been seen in Salt Lake City since the 90s, Utah came up just short in their Pac 12 clash with Arizona, falling 63-57. A back and forth game that was filled with scornig droughts and mini-runs ended with the Wildcats scoring the final 8 points of the game to all but lock up the Pac 12 regular season title.
What We Liked
-Delon Wright. Stars rise to the challenge in big games, and Wright did just that going for 17 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, and a steal. Unfortunately he had to do a lot on his own.
-Defensive intensity. Utah came out working hard on D, not letting Arizona get many good looks. The refs called everything though (both ways), and two teams that pride themselves on hard work on defense ended up sending their opponent to the free throw line over and over due to many questionable calls.
-Mr. Big Shot. Brandon Taylor really has turned into Utah's clutch shooter, knocking down 2 huge 3 pointers late in the 2nd half.
-Unconscious Brekkott. Chapman seems to have forgotten that he's a freshman and shouldn't be knocking down 3s and making them look routine in a game of this magnitude.
-Mini Wright. Utah got 21 very effective minutes out of freshman Isaiah Wright who kept making plays and didn't look fazed by the atmosphere.
-Keep it clean. The Utes turned it over early and often, but settled down and finished with only 9 turnovers on the day.
What We Didn't Like
-Layups. The Utes must have missed 10 shots inside of 3 feet, punctuated by Taylor's easy layup that ended things.
-Reyes and Poeltl. Chris Reyes has officially turned into a liability on offense. Doesn't bring enough to the defensive side to off-set it. Only played 13 minutes though. Only 12 minutes before Poeltl fouled out. When he goes against someone of comparable size, this has been an issue throughout conference play. Refs didn't help him out though.
-Rebound battle. Utah lost the rebounding battle to Arizona again, this time by 9 boards.
-The Refs. Maybe the worst reffing performance I've seen in my life. Dreadful on both ends. No consistency whatsoever. For a game that wasn't overly physical, 46 fouls is ridiculous.
Win and pray. Utah will need to win their final two on the road at the Washington Schools and hope that Arizona loses their final two (both at home) to Cal and Stanford. Then they can share the title. In reality, the Utes just need to close strong with a sweep and get ready for a the Pac 12 tournament so they can make a run at a 2 seed.
Utes Can't Hold Serve
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