Daniels continued his strong freshman season by dribbling around and through the Huskies, getting to the rim with ease and finishing his chances. Daniels was 10-of-13 shooting, topping his previous high of 19 in the Runnin' Utes loss at Xavier last month.
Bonam took over for stretches of the second half, surpassing his previous career-best of 21 points set earlier this season against UC Riverside. Bonam made 10 of 12 shots as Utah (14-5, 5-2 Pac-12) shot 68 percent in the first half and 60 percent for the game.
Markelle Fultz led Washington (9-10, 2-5) with 30 points, but the Huskies lost for the third time in four games.
Fultz has scored at least 30 points in three straight games, but twice it's come in losing efforts. David Crisp was the only other Washington player in double figures with 14 points, but was just 4-of-13 shooting.
Washington made one run in the second half, trimming what was an 18-point deficit to 71-63 after Fultz hit a 3 from the top of the key. Bonam scored on consecutive possessions and started a 10-0 run by Utah that pushed the lead back to 18 and sent fans for the exits.
Utah was fantastic offensively in the first half. It helped the Huskies allowed Utah eight layups, two dunks and 28 points in the paint in the first half. But Utah also made Washington pay for defensive lapses on the perimeter, knocking down 5 of 7 3-pointers in building a 53-40 halftime lead. The 53 points matched a season-high in a first half for the Utes.
The only reason Washington was within 13 at the half was because of Fultz and his 16 points. Fultz was 5-of-8 shooting; the rest of the Huskies were 10-of-31.
Utah played its second straight game without leading scorer David Collette. The 6-foot-10 forward did not make the trip to the Northwest and remained back in Salt Lake City after experiencing concussion symptoms.
Utah: The Utes like shooting against Washington. Last year in Salt Lake City, the Utes shot 67 percent in a 90-82 win. That included shooting 70.3 percent in the second half. Utah has scored at least 80 points in the past three games against Washington.
Washington: Foul trouble was problematic Washington starters Noah Dickerson and Matisse Thybulle. Both picked up important fouls early in each half and spent lengthy stretches on the bench. Thybulle had eight points in 21 minutes. Dickerson had just three points in 19 minutes.
Utah: The Utes return home to host Oregon on Thursday night.
Washington: The Huskies travel to Arizona State on Wednesday.
Opening - “I told guys the last few days about the type of team Utah was and how efficient they were. If you make mistakes they’ll make you pay for them and 60 points in the paint worth of mistakes…I won’t say all 60 but quite a bit, was that. They’re very efficient and we made a run but it was just too much. Just too many breakdowns on our end.”
32-4 difference in the paint for Utah in the second half - “When you look at their team, it wasn’t like their 60 points were coming from their bigs. They did a good job of getting to the rim, their guards. Both their guards scored 24 points apiece, many of those were in the paint. We could have done a better job of attacking the basket. Obviously Markelle does, but as a group we could have done a better job getting in there.”
Were the problems with the defense the zone? Man-to-man? - “It was more man-to-man. Sometimes it was poor communication. We talked about our defensive principles being on point, and many times there was a breakdown in defensive principles.”
What’s it going to take to get past those breakdowns? - “I thought we were making progress. The teams we have played against recently I think are behind Utah, and Utah plays at a higher level in terms of offensive efficiency. We saw we still obviously have a long ways to go. I said that before: we still have to get better. But to compete against the upper level teams in our conference, we saw what we have to do. I don’t know if there are many teams in the league that will execute as well as Utah does. Utah really, really executes.”
Did they do anything to get your offense out of its rhythm? - “With us guarding, they kind of took our bigs out of the game because they got our bigs out on the floor and spread us. We couldn’t get our base that way. I thought we were ineffective, and they had a lot to do with that.”
How much better can this team get defensively? - “I still think we can get better. The air came out of the balloon tonight against a team that, if you’re going to get burned they are the ones that you get burned. We had gotten better and I think we still will. I think our want-to is taken away because we get distracted by things that are going on in the game. The makeup of our team, if certain things don’t go our way we don’t have the wherewithal to just stick with the course. When we were coming back and made our run, shots started going in, but we have to get over the mental hurdle. Things aren’t going our way, stay steady. That’s what veteran teams do. That’s what really good teams do.”
Is that lack of confidence or lack of focus? - “Maybe a little bit of both. We definitely, at times, lose concentration. Some more than others. Some groups don’t lose it as much.”
With so much scoring inside, did you think about going big? - “But that’s what got it rolling. When we went big early they were beating us on the ball screen, were driving around us on ball screens, so we went smaller to try and switch things. They beat us both ways.”
On Markelle taking a leadership role - “Markelle is Superman out there at times. There’s a lot on his shoulders. Sometimes we could take what he does for granted. We expect him to solve every problem out there on the basketball floor. He can’t do that. We all have to step up. Teammates, coaches, all of us. We have to step up and lead by committee. We don’t have anyone on this team that has…Andrew (Andrews) last year. The freshmen saw Andrew’s example, but by and large we don’t have that across the board, that example of a guy that’s been in these games - game-in and game-out - and knows what can happen and what it takes. That’s why it’s more of an evolutionary process than anything.”
On Blake Harris being at the games - “Blake is a jet with the basketball and he can be the best passer that we’ve ever coached here. He’s a terrific passer, really fast with the basketball. True point guard.”
What made it so hard to get stops in the first half? - “They are a great team. They do a good job of spreading the floor. Any mistake you make, they make you pay for it. They just did a good job of waiting for us to make that one mistake and taking advantage of it. We had too many mistakes in the first half. It’s hard to come back from it once the players get going.”
Did it feel like any good on the offensive end was undone on the defensive end? - “I think so. We were trading baskets too much. We’re already down so you can’t do that. You can’t trade baskets. You can’t do that even if you’re winning. I think we traded baskets too much tonight. Every time we scored we just have to come back and get a stop and we failed to do that tonight.”
Anything to the slow starts? - “I don’t know. Some games that we came out strong, it’s just that we’ve got to find something. We’ve got to find something to fire us up to come out strong. It keeps happening where we get down a little bit before us to start kicking in and start trying to make a comeback instead of it just starting from the beginning. It’s something we’re trying to find out, and once we find out we’ve got to start doing it.”
These last two games your best stretch? - “Not really. I’m just doing the same thing. The thing I’m doing more is just being more of a communicator. I’m watching a lot of film - not just me but my teammates and what they tend to do and where we make mistakes. I’m just trying to take to my teammates and keep everybody involved, keep their energy up. Just keeping them believing because I believe. I’m just trying to get my team to believe and they’re doing a good job of doing that. Even though I’m a freshman I’m just trying to get these guys to follow my lead with my example. When I’m on the court I’m playing hard. I’m trying to do the best I can even though I make mistakes, and I hope the guys get on me even when I make mistakes and they do a good job of that. But I’m just trying to get into that leadership role. I’m ending up being a leader because I’m a point guard so you have to be a leader. Just working on it vocally.”
What is it going to take to click defensively? - “Just more communication and just being locked in the whole game, mentally and physically. We just keep not communicating on switches when someone is supposed to switch or just not talking on screens. Communication is a big key to it. We have to physically and mentally be focused.”
What were you thinking after the three that cut it to 8 points? - “Just keep fighting. You can’t take the whole lead away in one step. We got it to eight so we’ve got to keep chipping away. I’m just thinking not to make a mistake on the defensive end. I don’t know what happened after that, I’m not sure.”
Any frustration in the locker room? - “Yeah. Of course we’re mad. We’re not mad for long, but we’re mad because we keep losing and keep doing the same thing over and over again. If it’s a new mistake, we’re fine. But when it’s the same thing over and over again, we get frustrated and get on each other. But we don’t do it where we’re down and we’re not ready to come out the next day and practice or the next game ready to play. We’re frustrated sometimes.”