Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak gets into the game against USC at the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014.
Utah basketball: Delon Wright’s big night powers Utes’ win
Men’s basketball » Point guard’s all-around effort leaves USC helpless
First Published Jan 16 2014 07:53 pm • Last Updated Mar 24 2014 11:34 pm

There are times when Delon Wright is so dominant, he affects the game in every way. On those nights, there’s little the opposition can do to stop Utah’s junior point guard. And if he gets help from his teammates, the Utes usually win.

Thursday was one of those nights. USC was the opposition. And the win came in the form of a 84-66 second-half breeze before 9,231 at the Huntsman Center.

Latest tweets from Tony Jones (newest at the top)

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Wright was the catalyst, filling every portion of the stat sheet. His 22 points, six rebounds, six steals, five assists and two blocked shots were even more impressive when you consider that his impact on the game went even beyond the numbers.

Simply put, Wright was the best player on the floor, making an indelible impression on the Trojans.

"We were trying to get the ball inside, but the way we were hitting shots early, that really opened things up for us," Wright said. "This is how we have to play. We really need to keep this mindset going forward with the UCLA game coming up."

Utah moves to 13-4 on the season, and 2-3 in Pac-12 play. The Utes took control for good midway through the second half with a 17-2 run that turned a 60-55 lead into a 77-57 advantage.

In doing so, Utah looked nothing like the team that could barely score last week in road losses at Washington and Washington State. Last week, the Utes looked like Pete Carril’s old Princeton teams, walking the ball up the floor, passing it around for 30 seconds and forcing up shots as the clock ran out. On Thursday night, Utah pushed the ball up the floor, took the first available shot and got out into transition quite often. It worked, as the Utes looked like the team that played in November and December.

"We had some guys who were embarrassed with the Washington trip," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "I think it’s a misconception that your effort is judged by how you play defensively. We needed to do that on offense, as well. I was very pleased with how many extra passes were made. Dakarai [Tucker] was able to knock down his three’s and Delon stepped up and made his free throws."

The open offense helped unleash Wright, and helped the other players as well. Tucker notched a career-high 18 points, sniping from the perimeter, and hitting 3-pointers. Sophomore forward Jordan Loveridge was solid with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Those three did the bulk of the damage, although the players manning the center position (Dallin Bachynski, Jeremy Olsen and Marko Kovacevic) combined for 19 points between them.

The contest was close in the first half, with USC even nudging out to a 24-18 lead after 10 minutes. But a 12-1 run put Utah in control for good. Once the Utes grabbed the lead, they never surrendered it, even as the Trojans made several pushes to get within striking distance.

story continues below
story continues below

Pe’Shon Howard led USC with 16 points, and JT Terrell scored 12 for the Trojans.


Twitter: @tjonessltrib

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.