Sometime during the halftime break, Brekkott Chapman got his hands on a stat sheet. He scanned down to Josh Hawkinson's name, and was pleased with what he saw next to it: zeroes.
Halfway through Utah's eventual 88-47 win, Washington State's junior forward had no points, was 0-for-2 shooting, and had no assists and no offensive rebounds.
"I was pretty excited about that," Chapman said.
In a storyline that was dwarfed by Utah's own mammoth advantages, the Cougars' leading scorer was missing in action for most of the night. While Hawkinson still managed eight rebounds, he finished with only four points — only the third time he's been held out of double-digits and matching a season low from a December game against Gonzaga's oversized front court.
Guarding him with a team of Chapman and Kyle Kuzma, the Utes didn't necessarily have the size advantage, but were able to limit his touches. His four shot attempts were a season low, and he didn't take his first shot until the final three minutes of the first half.
"Me and Kuzma, we just tried to limit his touches as much as we could, contest his shots as much as we could, and keep him off the glass," Chapman said. "He's a really rebounder, really good finisher around the rim. [We tried to] keep him away from his sweet spots."
Hawkinson's quiet night played into Utah's 50-10 scoring advantage in the paint alone, as well as the Utes' 38-30 rebounding advantage. Hawkinson ended up with two offensive boards on the evening.
As a team, Washington State's 30.6-percent shooting was a season low.
Reserves get time
Every backup who came off the Utah bench scored points.
That included freshman forward Austin Montgomery, who had six points including an and-one. Sophomore guard Isaiah Wright made his only shot of the night for two while dishing out a team-leading five assists. Senior Austin Eastman obliged a rousing student section cheer with a 3-pointer from the wing.
The fans weren't the only ones on their feet. On the bench, Utah's starters looked happier for the reserves' points than their own.
"They don't get to get that many reps in practice — they're always just running scout," Jordan Loveridge said. "When they get in the game, it's always fun to cheer for those guys who are always upbeat, cheering for us, coming in every day and doing the same work."
Chapman's 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting was a season high for the sophomore. … Senior Brandon Taylor moved into the program's top five in steals, notching two to pass Kelvin Upshaw (1983-86) and sit with 136 steals in his career. ... Junior forward Chris Reyes did not play and reportedly was under the weather. He wasn't present for the first half but did sit on the bench in the second half.