SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After a week off, the Utes basketball team did not look ready to play Sunday afternoon against Colorado.
The Buffaloes dominated from the start, built a 25-point lead in the first half, and cruised to a 91-52 victory over Utah.
“I think you know there’s some deficiencies in our game right now that we got a cleanup,” said head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “But I’m not going to say that there’s going to be nights like this. If you have a choice to lose a game by three or to lose a game by 40, which ones better? The result is it’s a loss and the key for us is that we need to stay together.”
McKinley Wright had 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the Buffaloes, who put an old-fashioned whooping on their rivals, racing out to a 44-22 halftime lead and never letting up.
The Buffs were looking to bounce back from a big letdown against Oregon State on the heels of their signature win over Oregon last week, and they did just that.
The Buffs raced out to a 26-7 led over the stunned Utes (10-5, 1-2).
“This is Colorado basketball and it’s hard to beat us when we’re playing like this,” said Evan Battey, who led the Buffaloes with 17 points.
All 11 players scored for the Utes, but none finished in double figures. Riley Battin had 8 points, while Timmy Allen and Both Gach eached finished with 7.
Tyler Bey finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds and Battey had 17 points to go with 10 boards. D’Shawn Schwartz added 14 points for Colorado.
Allen, who leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 21.1 points per game, had seven of Utah’s first nine points but didn’t score again. He was 2 off 11 from the field.
“Team effort,” Wright said of stifling Allen. “Our coaches the entire week kept saying his name. We took that as an individual challenge and a collective challenge to shut their water off. We kept hearing his name all week. It was kind of annoying.”
They hardly heard it at all Sunday.
“We showed up, we just had our teeth punched in,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “It’s a veteran team that’s physical and we got exposed on the level of physicality. Any time you’re minus-20 on the glass, I think that’s a big part of it. They’re a good defensive team, one of the best in the country. They have a lot of facets to make them successful they came out and responded very well.”
Kyrstowiak doesn’t think the 39-point loss will linger.
“Michigan State was 5-0 in the Big Ten and got smacked,” he said. “Life is hard. The Baltimore Ravens were the best team in the NFL and they got it handed to them. You have to be ready to compete.”
Utah next visits #24 Arizona Thursday night.