Kuzma’s career high powers Runnin’ Utes past ASU

Photo courtesy Utah Athletics

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Kuzma scored 19 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and grabbed 12 rebounds, helping Utah hold off Arizona State 88-82 on Saturday.

Utah (11-4, 2-1 Pac-12) built a nine-point lead behind a second-half run keyed by Kuzma, only to allow Arizona State to claw its way back in the closing minutes.

utesObinna Oleka pulled the Sun Devils within 82-80 on a two-handed slam, but Lorenzo Bonham and JoJo Zamora combined to make 3 of 4 free throws in the final 25 seconds.

The Utes shot 55 percent and made 8 of 16 from 3-point range after struggling to get shots to fall in a loss to Arizona on Thursday. Zamora and David Collette had 18 points each.

Shannon Evans scored 21 points and Kodi Justice 17 to lead the Sun Devils (9-8, 2-2).

Utah was able to hang with No. 17 Arizona most of Thursday night before wearing down against the long Wildcats.

Kyle Kuzma
Kyle Kuzma

The Utes had to shift gears in a short turnaround, facing an Arizona State team that’s guard-heavy and twice matched the school record for 3-pointers this season with 18.

Utah had a hard time slowing the Sun Devils on the perimeter at the start, particularly during a 23-5 run that put Arizona State up 25-16. And, just like their game against Arizona, the Utes had a long scoreless drought, going nearly 6 1/2 minutes without making a shot.

Utah finally started getting something to go in and cut what was once a 10-point deficit to 37-34 by halftime.

Kuzma, who had a quiet game in Tucson, sparked the Utes in the second half, keying a 9-0 run that put them up 56-48 midway through.

Arizona State made a late run to pull within two twice, but couldn’t get a shot to fall in the closing seconds.


Utah bounced back nicely from their loss to Arizona with a strong offensive game and held its composure when the Sun Devils made a late run.

The Sun Devils’ lack of size has hurt them against bigger teams and did again against the Utes, who had a 40-30 advantage in rebounds.


Utah heads home to face No. 25 Southern California and No. 4 UCLA next week.

Arizona State plays at No. 17 Arizona on Thursday in the first two games against its biggest rival.

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