Blend of styles on display at the Huntsman Center.
Parker Van Dyke played the hero in Westwood and scored the first points for Utah on Thursday night at the Huntsman Center. Confidence? He’s got it. This team‘s got it – inside and out. The senior guard drilled seven 3-pointers en route to the 83-76 victory against Arizona, the Utes’ second against the Wildcats in the Pac-12 era.
While Van Dyke soared on the perimeter, Utah flipped the script inside in the second half. After being pounded inside for 14 points in the paint during the first, the Utes won the second with a 26-20 edge.
Jayce Johnson lived down low on both ends. The big man scored all of his career-high 17 in the second half.
Arizona’s Sean Miller sunk his head when the Cats were done. At that faithful moment, U of A closed to within 11. Dylan Smith threw the ball away after a Chase Jeter pick. On the ensuing Utah possession, Jeter fouled out. The Wildcats’ best post presence wouldn’t be on the floor for the final 4:08, but truthfully, the redshirt-junior figured little in the second half after dominating the first.
As Utah lived at the the line, the Utes salted the game away. 21-of-28 from the charity stripe. KenPom’s best offense in the Pac-12 – 25th overall in adjusted offensive efficiency – worked a normally tough Zona defense and sent the visitors packing with their sixth straight loss.