SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s defense went for the trifecta Thursday night. The bid, though, fell by the wayside as California’s Allen Crabbe did what those next to him on the Pac-12’s overall scoring list (Washington State’s Brock Motum and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox) couldn’t do against the Utes — put points on the board in the first half.
After missing his first three shots from the field, Crabbe nailed a 3-pointer with 10:23 remaining in the first half. It gave the Bears the lead for good — at 14-11 — and started a run of eight straight points for the Pac-12’s leading scorer. He finished with 23.
“I thought Crabbe played really well for them tonight,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “We were just not as locked in defensively as we have been the last few games.”
Cal coach Mike Montgomery acknowledged that Crabbe was a tough matchup for the Utes.
“They went to a box-and-1 for a while and we got a little stagnant but Allen made some tough shots,” Montgomery said.
Utah senior Cedric Martin, who drew the early assignment on Crabbe, blamed himself for the lack of effective pressure on Crabbe.
“I, myself, didn’t lock into what the coaches told me on how to play Crabbe on defense,” Martin said. “So I’ll take his 20-something point game on me.”
POWER OF PINK: In support of the Huntsman Cancer Institute and cancer awareness, the Utes sported uniforms, warm-ups and shoes trimmed with pink. Fans were also encouraged to wear the color. In addition, pink “thunder sticks” were handed out at the turnstiles.
MEETINGS PLANNED: Sophomore center Dallin Bachynski logged only three minutes of playing time. Krystkowiak said he plans to meet with him Friday morning, noting such things as energy, composure and staying locked in.
“We’ll take that up together. It’s not perfect for a lot of guys. It wasn’t supposed to be easy for anybody. There’s a lot of challenges and it’s important that guys come in with the right mindset,” Krytskowiak said. “I think that’s the area that we’re struggling with right now — is making sure that we’ve got everybody on board. I’m not sure Dallin’s a little more worried (about) his trials and tribulations than he is about what the University of Utah is going through. That ends up being dysfunctional.”
Krystkowiak added that he’s also going to meet with senior guard Jarred DuBois, who missed a couple of days of practice this week with an undisclosed injury. DuBois didn’t play in the first half and saw nine minutes of time in the second, scoring three points.
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