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