SEATTLE — Utah completed a Pac-12 road sweep with a 94-72 victory over Washington Saturday evening at Alaska Airlines Arena. In doing so, the Utes have scored 80 or more points in five straight games — something the program hasn’t done since 1993-94.
“We’ve be talking about the importance of sharing the basketball,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “I thought we were really effective in some pick-and-rolls, spread pick-and-roll.”
The latter, he explained, helped guards Lorenzo Bonam and Devon Daniels get to the hoop. They each finished with 24 points. Kyle Kuzma added 22 along with a game-high 15 rebounds.
“We’re just playing good basketball. I think that’s the biggest thing right now,” Kuzma said. “We’re taking good shots, we’re sharing the ball and everybody’s sharing the juice with each other.”
The Utes improved to 14-5 overall and 5-2 in Pac-12 play despite playing without starting big man David Collette for the second consecutive game. The junior remained in Salt Lake City for the games this past week while undergoing concussion protocol for a past injury that resurfaced.
“Road wins are hard to come by in the Pac-12, regardless of where you are or who’s on your roster,” Krystkowiak said. “And I think Dave has been a pretty steadying influence on us.”
While noting a team always wants to have its full complement of players, Krystkowiak credited everyone for chipping in another 5 or 10 percent to make up for the 100 percent that Collette would have brought to the game.
“We’re just hoping he can get healthy,” Krystkowiak said. “Hopefully he clears the concussion protocol this week and we can get him back in the mix. It would be nice to have one more weapon.”
There was additional adversity as well with Kuzma battling flu-like symptoms. He threw up at halftime and right after the game — just as he did at Wednesday’s 41-point win at Washington State.
“I’ve been pretty sick but I keep going with it,” Kuzma added.
Utah held a 53-40 advantage at halftime. The Utes had three players score in double-figures. Bonam and Daniels had 13 points apiece, while Kuzma added 11.
Trailing 13-12, Utah used a 10-0 run to pull in front and stay there. Bonam and Daniels paced the outburst by teaming for seven of the points. Tyler Rawson had the other three.
The Utes eventually extended their lead to 50-33 on a 3-pointer by Daniels with 2:26 left in the half.
Utah shot 67.7 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes, including 5-of-7 accuracy from 3-point range. Free throws, though, proved troublesome as the Utes were just 6 of 11 (54.5 percent).
Washington, meanwhile, missed 22 of its 37 field goal attempts. The lone bright spot was freshman standout Markelle Fultz, who had 16 of his game-high 30 points in the opening half.
Utah scored the first five points of the second half. The Utes then went into a drought that lasted more than three minutes. They missed six consecutive shots during the stretch and Washington capitalized. The Huskies climbed back into contention with nine straight points to make it 58-49.
It was the first of three times the Huskies cut the deficit to single digits. The last time came at 10:31 on a 3-pointer by Fultz that closed the gap to 71-63.
Washington failed to draw closer the rest of the way. The Huskies didn’t score a single point over the ensuing 5:04 as the Utes reeled off five straight baskets, including three by Bonam.
“We just tried to stay to the game plan really,” Kuzma said. “Just take good shots on offense and be solid on defense.”
The sequence increased Utah’s lead to 18 points and sealed the deal. The Utes maintained a lead of at least 14 points the rest of the way. They took their biggest lead late in the game, going up by 22.
Utah has now won three straight Pac-12 road games overall.
“Now we’ve got to do it at home,” Daniels said. “We’ve got two tough games coming up this week.”
The Utes face Oregon on Thursday (8:30 p.m., FS1) and Oregon State (5 p.m., P12N) on Saturday.
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