The Runnin Utes got back to their winning ways with an impressive 90-82 victory over the Washington Huskies at the Huntsman Center. Jakob Poeltl led the team with 23 points, going 11 for 12 from the field while Lorenzo Bonam had a bounceback game with 18 of his own. Four Utah starters scored 15 points or more with Kyle Kuzma pitching in 8 points and 7 assists on the night.
Offensively, it was a tremendous effort for the Utes with 26 assists on 35 field goals, 58.8% from behind the 3 point line, and 67.3% overall from the field. They played team basketball on the offensive end with a lot of ball movement and that crucial extra pass to find an open man, which led to easy layups and dunks, along with open 3 point shots. Bonam and Brandon Taylor bothed looked tremendously confident with the ball in their hands, attacking the Washington defense and creating for themselves and their teammates. Throw in hot shooting from Jordan Loveridge and Utah played arguably their top offensive game of the season, outside of the 17 turnovers they committed.
Defensively, this remains a work in progress with Washington putting up 82 points despite 16 turnovers of their own. Washington dominated the offensive glass with 14 boards, many of which were turned into putback layups, and that's something the Utes need to clean up. Poeltl played tentatively on the defensive end after battling some foul trouble (thanks refs) and that allowed Washington to get more easy baskets at the rim than they should have.
Overall, it was a solid performance and one where the Utes starters showed a tremendous amount of grit and toughness in taking down a top opponent. A step in the right direction with a Wazzu team coming in next that should lead to a two game winning streak that could be the start of a strong close to the season.