SALT LAKE CITY—The Utah Utes held off another upset bid from Stanford, beating the Cardinal at the Huntsman Center, 96-74. After a 1-3 start to conference play, the Utes (17-5, 6-3 Pac-12) are now in a three-way tie with Washington and Southern California for second place in the Pac-12.
Stanford (11-9, 4-5 Pac-12) dealt with foul trouble for most of the second half with key players Marcus Sheffield, Cameron Walker, and Michael Humphrey with three fouls each early in the half. Walker eventually fouled out of the game.
Despite the foul trouble, Cardinal head coach Johnny Dawkins’ team tried to catch up via fouls and free throws, but Utah’s clutch shooting from the charity stripe down the stretch allowed Utah to extend their lead all the way out to the winning margin of 22 points.
Jakob Poeltl and Kyle Kuzma led a dominating offensive performance inside the paint, combining for 39 points. The Utes scored 36 points in the paint while outrebounding the Cardinal, 37-29.
Brandon Taylor and Lorenzo Bonam carried the Utes from the backcourt, scoring 29 combined points on 8-15 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers from Bonam. However, no big Utah shot went unanswered from the Cardinal, who kept the Utes within a ten point reach for most of the game, despite being held to just 3-25 from behind the three-point line.
Utah trailed the Cardinal for a total of only 2 minutes and 33 seconds, all at the beginning of the game. Five Utes scored in double-digits as the team shot 28-47 (59.6%) from the floor, including 8-17 (47.1%) from three-point range.
Utah will look to inch closer to the top of the Pac-12 next week in a return trip to Corvallis, Oregon to face the Oregon State Beavers next Thursday at 9:00pm MT. After Oregon State, the Utes will head to Eugene to take on the first-place Ducks, who walloped the Utes in Salt Lake City earlier in conference play.
Larry Krystkowiak Postgame:
Brandon Taylor, Kyle Kuzma Postgame:
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