Utah coach Jim Boylen wasn't real happy with some of the things Lawrence Borha had been doing on and off the court.
"I threatened him that if he doesn't get a 3.0 (grade point average) that he's moving back into the dorms," said Boylen. "I threatened that if he doesn't start guarding, he won't play as much."
Borha got the message loud and clear and he proved it in the Utes' 72-66 win over San Diego State on Saturday in the Huntsman Center.
The junior guard scored a game-high 22 points and helped hold San Diego State star Lorrenzo Wade to just 4-of-15 shooting from the field.
The results, along with Borha's progress in the classroom, have pleased Boylen.
"Lawrence had the best week of practice of any guy we have. He's been the most focused in practice than any guy we have," said Boylen.
"He's done the best in school, so far this semester, of any guy we have."
And on Saturday, he was the best of any guy they had on the court, too.
Bohra's offensive output was his highest since he netted 24 points against UC Irvine on Dec. 1. In fact, he had only reached double-figures once in the 16 games that followed.
"It was really nice. I wouldn't say I went through a slump, but I would say I just wasn't focused on the court to hit open shots," said Borha. "But I'm getting better. I had a breakout game today, and I hope to keep doing well."
Borha made 7-of-11 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
"They just left me open. They were worrying about Johnnie Bryant and Luke Nevill," said Bohra. "That's something you can't do. You've got to worry about other players on the court. They left me open and I made them pay."
Bryant wasn't surprised. He noted that Borha was a New York City scoring champion in high school.
"It was great. He's a guy who can always score," said Bryant. "He just took what the defense gave them and capitalized on it. It helped us and gave us the spark we needed tonight."
Bohra, however, gave credit to Utah's defense for igniting things.
"It all starts on the defensive end," he said. "Every time coach tells me I've got to guard this player or guard that player, I focus on defense. Then the offense comes."
Besides making some big plays in the second half, Bohra also helped the Utes climb back into contention earlier in the game. He scored 10 points late in the first half, including a pair of 3-pointers, as Utah rallied an early 11-point deficit to take a 28-26 halftime lead.
"They left me open and I just knocked them down," said Borha, who noted that teammate Carlon Brown did a good job of driving to the basket and kicking it back out when the defense collapsed on him.Bohra capped things off in the first half by scoring the Utes' final four points off a jumper and two free throws