SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utes had been on a roll lately, largely led by their defensive effort. But Saturday night at the Huntsman Center, they had no answer for a red hot Arizona State attack.
Rob Edwards scored a season high 28 points while Zylan Cheatham chipped in 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sun Devils to a 98-87 victory at the Huntsman Center, ending the Utes 3-game win streak.
The Utes (14-11) drop back into a third place tie in the Pac-12 with Arizona State at 8-5.
Parker Van Dyke and Sedrick Barefield each scored 17 points, while Timmy Allen added 13 to lead the Utes, who shot 53.8 percent from the floor. But the Utes missed 13 free throws in a foul-plagued game.
“You have to guard without fouling and you have to rebound,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “There’s a lot of in-betweens. They did isolation ball, and without a doubt, Rob Edwards had one of his best games. At the end of the day, we were almost surprised when they missed, because we got the rebound. We just weren’t tough enough.”
Luguentz Dort added 17 points before fouling out with 4:44 left and Remy Martin had 16 points and five assists for the Sun Devils. Arizona State (17-8, 8-5 Pac-12) won in Salt Lake City for a second straight season.
The Sun Devils shot 34 of 63 (54 percent) from the field. Arizona State finished with an 18-8 edge in second-chance points after outrebounding the Utes 35-29.
“We wanted to get stops, but the problem is we couldn’t,” Krystkowiak said. “You have to get stops in order to play up tempo, we didn’t have that flow tonight at all. It wasn’t about tempo, it was about all the little things. We started both halves playing lazy and turning the ball over. We weren’t trying to play fast, but we kept turning the ball over. We just shot ourselves in the foot.”
Martin hit two 3-pointers, and Dort and Edwards each added another, to help Arizona State sprint out to a 16-6 lead. The Sun Devils built their largest lead of the half at 33-20 on back-to-back baskets from Edwards. Barefield and Van Dyke alternated baskets on four straight possessions to help Utah trim the deficit to 38-33.
Both teams entered the bonus with 14 minutes remaining. The Utes took advantage by attempting 30 free throws after halftime.
It helped Utah rally after Arizona State went up 72-56 on a dunk from Cheatham midway through the second half. The Utes cut the deficit to 87-80 on a 3-pointer from Both Gach with 3:06 remaining.
Utah couldn’t get any closer after Martin made back-to-back layups to give the Sun Devils a 93-82 lead with 1:24 left.
Utah next plays at Washington Wednesday night.