No 16 Utah beat Texas Tech 73-63 in Puerto Rico tipoff

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SAN JUAN: Utah coach Larry Krys­tkowiak pushed his team to play tougher af­ter a first half in which they squan­dered much of a 12point lead and couldn’t keep Texas Tech off the boards. The sec­ond half was more what the fifth-year coach expects from the No 16 Utes. Lorenzo Bonam scored a sea­son-high 20 points and Utah held off Texas Tech 7363 on Thurs­day night in the open­ing round of the Puerto Rico Tipoff.

Jor­dan Loveridge added 18 points for the Utes (3-0), who dom­i­nated the boards and scored 16 sec­ond-chance points af­ter half­time to stay in con­trol - es­pe­cially as the Red Raiders (1-1) kept try­ing to push their way back into the game. “I ac­tu­ally chal­lenged the guys (at half­time),” Krys­tkowiak said. “I think there’s a per­cep­tion out there maybe that the Big 12 is a real phys­i­cal league and maybe the Pac-12’s not and it looked like that in the first half.

“We ended up on our backs a lot of times lay­ing on the ground point­ing fin­gers at each other telling each other to block out. ... We had to play more phys­i­cal to have a chance to win that game.” Af­ter Texas Tech out­re­bounded Utah 25-18 in the first half, the Utes sure re­versed those strug­gles af­ter the break. They more than dou­bled up the Red Raiders af­ter half­time at 27-13, in­clud­ing 10-5 on the of­fen­sive glass. That was crit­i­cal on a night when nei­ther team shot par­tic­u­larly well. Utah shot 38 per­cent while Texas Tech shot 39 per­cent. “Our in­ten­sity just picked up and we got down into it de­fen­sively,” Utah se­nior Bran­don Tay­lor said. “We tried to slow down a lit­tle bit on of­fense and really just cap­i­tal­ize and hold onto the bas­ket­ball as much as we could. We di­aled in de­fen­sively and of­fen­sively.” De­vaugn­tah Wil­liams scored 13 points to lead the Red Raiders, who got within 42-40 be­fore Bonam re­sponded with six straight points to give Utah some breath­ing room.

Utah pushed that lead back out to 13, then got a key 3-pointer from Loveridge near the 2-minute mark af­ter Texas Tech had fought back to make it a two-pos­ses­sion game again. Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith didn’t have to look far for rea­sons why his Red Raiders couldn’t quite dig out from the early hole. Aside from re­bound­ing, Texas Tech made 3 of 19 3-point­ers for the game and made 6 of 14 free throws in the fi­nal 20 min­utes. “They dom­i­nated the boards ... and that gave them some sec­ond op­por­tu­ni­ties and third op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Smith said. “An­other thing is our freethrow shoot­ing. We have to put more pres­sure on them, by making shots and we strug­gled to make our free throws.”

No 17 Van­der­bilt, Stony Brook Wade Bald­win IV came off the bench to score 21 and lead No 17 Van­der­bilt to a 7972 over­time win over Stony Brook on Thurs­day night. Stony Brook’s Car­son Puriefoy’s layup with one sec­ond left in reg­u­la­tion sent the game into over­time tied at 66. Free throws helped Van­der­bilt pull out the win in over­time. Van­der­bilt’s Ri­ley LaChance and Damian Jones both scored 13 points. Matthew Fisher-Davis added 11 points. For­ward Luke Kor­net, who missed the last 22 min­utes of Mon­day’s win over Gard­ner-Webb with a sprained an­kle, scored nine points. Stony Brook’s Jameel War­ney, a two-time Amer­ica East player of the year, led the Seawolves (1-1) with 22 points and 11 re­bounds. He led the na­tion in dou­ble­dou­bles (24) and to­tal re­bounds (409) last sea­son. Puriefoy scored 16 points and Stony Brook’s Ah­mad Walker added 13.

No 5 Bay­lor beat No 19 USF Niya John­son had 10 points, 13 as­sists and eight re­bounds and No 5 Bay­lor held on for a 66-63 vic­tory over No. 19 South Florida on Thurs­day night to ad­vance to the pre­sea­son WNIT cham­pi­onship game. Court­ney Wil­liams had 23 points for the Bulls (2-1), but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied it af­ter grab­bing an of­fen­sive re­bound. Nina Davis had 15 points and Kalani Brown scored 11 points in 10 min­utes for Lady Bears (3 0). Bay­lor never trailed af­ter an 11-0 run early in the game, but South Florida got within a point twice in the fourth quar­ter and had the po­ten­tial ty­ing shot. Laura Fer­ri­era had 14 points for South Florida. Bay­lor hosts DePaul tomorrow for the pre­sea­son WNIT cham­pi­onship. — Agen­cies

SAN JUAN: Utah guard Lorenzo Bonam (right) goes to the bas­ket against Texas Tech guard Jor­dan Jackson dur­ing a NCAA col­lege bas­ket­ball game in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thurs­day, Nov 19, 2015. — AP

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