Loveridge, Taylor lead Runnin’ Utes in rout of Washington State

Photo courtesy Utah Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Jordan Loveridge scored 22 points and Brandon Taylor added 21 to lead Utah to a 92-71 win over Washington State on Thursday night.

basketball-ballrunningutes2The Utes (14-5, 3-3 Pac-12), who have won two in a row and three of four, evened their conference record after starting 0-2 in league play. Jakob Poeltl had 14 points and Lorenzo Bonam 13 for Utah.

Que Johnson and Josh Hawkinson both scored 16 points for Washington State (9-9, 1-5). The Cougars have lost a season-high four straight and seven of nine. WSU started the season 4-0.

The Utes, who had not scored more than 59 points in the previous four games, scored 43 in the first half against WSU. The Cougars trailed 43-28 at intermission. It was the third consecutive game in which WSU trailed by 15 at the half.

The Cougars made five turnovers in the first seven-plus minutes and were outscored 13-0 in points off turnovers in the opening half. Utah attacked the basket with minimal resistance against a WSU squad that played without shot-blocking center Valentine Izundu (foot) for the fourth straight game.

Photo courtesy Utah Athletics
Photo courtesy Utah Athletics

Poeltl, Utah’s leading scorer and rebounder, was limited in the first half by foul trouble. The 7-foot sophomore from Austria is projected as a consensus top-10 pick in the 2016 NBA draft if he elects to leave school.

TIP-INS

Utah: Larry Krystkowiak is one of six Pac-12 head coaches who played in the NBA, and he is the only one who also served as a head coach in the NBA. Krystkowiak played nine seasons in the NBA and coached the Milwaukee Bucks for one-plus seasons, compiling a 31-68 record.

Washington State: Ernie Kent, the dean of Pac-12 head coaches with 15 years of head coaching experience in the league (13 at Oregon), is trying to post a winning conference record for just the fifth time. Two of Kent’s Oregon teams finished 9-9. Kent guided the Ducks to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament two times, and he reached the NIT Final Four with two other Oregon teams.

UP NEXT

Utah visits Washington on Sunday.

Washington State hosts Colorado on Saturday.

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