The Utes hammer the Cougars at the Huntsman Center

The best performance of the year has Utah eyeing a Pac 12 crown

4 days after their best offensive performance of the season, the Runnin Utes posted their best overall performance of the year in an 88-47 waxing of Washington State at the Huntsman Center.

Things started on the defensive end, an area that Utah has been inconsistent in throughou the year, as they held four of the five Cougars' starters to 4 points or less. The lockdown D came in two forms, with the porous opponents shooting only 30% from the field for the game, as well as committing 20 turnovers.

Offensively, every single Ute that played scored except for Lorenzo Bonam, who wasn't needed and only played 15 minutes. In extended minuts, the Utah bench posted a combined 30 points from six dfferent players with Brekkott Chapman having 12 himself. Chapman looked much more comfortable in his role on Sunday, and you could see the confidence rising as he knocked down both of his 3 point attempts. The Utes also received good minutes out of walk-on big man Austin Montgomery, and you have to wonder if that could earn him more time as Jakob Poeltl's backup going forward.

Jakob Poeltl posted his second straight monster game with an 11 of 14 effort from the field for 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds. It was the Austrian's sixth 20+ performance in his last seven games.He continues to add new pieces to his game that could move him into the top 5 of the NBA draft with how effortless he makes things looks at times.

Overall, it was a successful weekend for the Utes with the sweep of the Washington schools, combined with a pair of road-trip losses for the Ducks that put them back into the thick of the Pac 12 race at only 1 game behind both the Ducks and Arizona Wildcats. With a Southern California swing coming up that is more that sweepable, Utah is back to where they want to be as a favorable schedule will give them a solid shot at capturing the regular season conference crown, something that seemed unfathomable a week ago.

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