There have been hot-shooting nights against teams like Boise State and Colorado that have led to wins for Utah.
There have been stirring late-minute rallies, like the one against Arizona State. Beating Washington on the road required the Utes to hold off a last-second comeback against the shooting of C.J. Wilcox.
A 72-61 win over Oregon State on Thursday night before 8,019 at the Huntsman Center was quite different. It felt different. It looked different.
This was an old-fashioned whipping of OSU, a win that drove the Beavers into submission. By the middle of the second half, Oregon State’s Craig Robinson was finished coaching, sitting motionless on the bench other than hastily waving a sub into the game.
The drama dissipated three minutes after halftime. By the end, the Beavers had no intention of playing defense, allowing Utah any shot it wanted down the stretch.
“We took a lot of five shots,” point guard Brandon Taylor said. “Coach numbers our shots from one through five, with five being the highest. We took a lot of five shots for sure tonight.”
In the transition to the Pac-12, 40 minutes of dominance on the part of the Utes hasn’t exactly been frequent. In that light — and the fact that Oregon State blew Utah out in early February — this registers as one of the most impressive wins of the season.
And one of the more important. Utah began the night in last place. The Utes are now 10th, leap-frogging Oregon State and Washington State. The victory halted a four-game losing streak. It’s the first time in 10 games that Utah has outrebounded its opponent. And the fourth league win of the season trumps the 2012 Pac-12 victory total.
“I think we came out and played a well-rounded game,” coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “Guys were defending well. I think we moved the ball well and played a pretty unselfish game. We had a good week of practice, and guys responded.”
Freshman forward Jordan Loveridge played one of his best games of the season, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds — his fourth double-double of the season. He controlled the boards, beat OSU’s big men off the dribble and created plays for himself and his teammates.
Jason Washburn became the 35th player in school history to score 1,000 career points with a layup in the first half. His 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots served as an able complement to the game Loveridge put together.
Senior guard Jarred DuBois scored 15 points, handed out six assists and grabbed four rebounds. Taylor scored 12 points and made an impact by hitting four 3-pointers.
Utah trailed 1-0, its final deficit. At its apex, the lead swelled to 19 points by the middle of the second half.
Only a late run by Beavers made the score look somewhat respectable. The Utes forced turnovers. They blocked shots. They controlled Joe Burton, who had a great game against them in Corvallis. They basically did everything they didn’t do last month against Oregon State.
“They punked us up there,” Washburn said. “They killed us rebounding, and we reversed that tonight. I think we’re a better team that what we’ve shown this season. We’re better than our record. We just came out and played hard tonight.”
Storylines Utes snap 4-game skid
R Utah trails Oregon State once, at 1-0.
• Jordan Loveridge scores 17 points and grabs 12 rebounds.
• Utah moves to 12-17 on the season.