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Utah basketball: Princeton Onwas gives Utes a lift in comfortable win over Washington State

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 4:16 a.m. MDT

Utah's Jordan Loveridge tries to regain the ball as Utah and Washington State play Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in the Huntsman Center. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah's Jordan Loveridge tries to regain the ball as Utah and Washington State play Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in the Huntsman Center. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — He only played 13 minutes due to foul trouble, but Princeton Onwas made the most of his time on the court in helping to spark Utah to a comfortable 18-point win over Washington State Saturday night.

Onwas scored 10 points — mostly on fast break dunks that brought the crowd to its feet — in the junior college forward's first double-figure game since clear back in late November.

“We got a great lift from Princeton tonight,’’ said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “The kid is really coachable. That was something I mentioned at a timeout: When we get a rebound, everybody else should be shooting out of there. Lo and behold probably three times tonight he outsprinted some people and gave us a big boost. Whenever you can score that easily and get the arena going that makes the game a lot easier.’’

Utah's Delon Wright and teammate Jeremy Olsen defend Davonte Lacy as Utah and Washington State play Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in the Huntsman Center. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah's Delon Wright and teammate Jeremy Olsen defend Davonte Lacy as Utah and Washington State play Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in the Huntsman Center. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Onwas hasn't been playing as much lately and had a lot of his minutes taken by freshman Ahmad Fields in last week’s Colorado game. But Krystkowiak said Onwas came out focused this week in practice and played well in both home games, especially on the defensive end.

“He’s proven he can really defend the wing and he’s big and strong and gaining a bit of confidence at that spot,’’ Krystkowiak said. “In this league there’s some pretty good wings and you need a wing stopper. Princeton is evolving into that a little bit.’’

“I’ve always been a defender rather than an offensive player,’’ Onwas said. “I have fun playing defense and pride myself on the defensive end.’’

Onwas had to sit out for long stretches because of foul trouble — “I picked up some cheap ones in the beginning, just not being focused,’’ he said — and he fouled out with 4:39 left. But as he returned to the bench he received a biggest ovation of the night from the crowd of 11,634, topped only by the reaction to his slam dunk a minute earlier that gave the Utes a 70-54 lead.

Utah's Kenneth Ogbe grabs a rebound as Utah and Washington State play Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in the Huntsman Center. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Utah's Kenneth Ogbe grabs a rebound as Utah and Washington State play Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in the Huntsman Center. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

“It felt good. I never had that before,’’ he said. “I look forward to having more of that — it felt real good.’’

GOING PINK: To support breast cancer awareness, the Utes wore jerseys with pink stripes down the side, pink shoes and warm-ups with pink sleeves. The jerseys had pink-trimmed numbers and on the back instead of names, the word “CURE” was above the numbers.

At halftime, Utah athletics director Chris Hill presented a framed pink and white jersey to David Huntsman for the Huntsman Cancer Institute's role in the fight against cancer.

UTE NOTES: The Utes are now 16-1 on the season at home. ... The Utes had five players finish in double-figure scoring. ... Jeremy Olsen had one of his better games with 10 points and eight rebounds. ... Dallin Bachynski scored 10 points in just 12 minutes of action. ... The Utes won the rebound battle 36-29. ... Utah had 17 assists, led by Delon Wright with nine. ... Utah is now 15-3 all time against Washington State and 2-2 since joining the Pac-12. ... The Utes lost to Washington State 49-46 last month in Pullman.

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