Utah handles UC Davis 94-60
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)
Brandon Taylor scored 21 points and Renan Lenz added 20 to power Utah to a 94-60 victory over UC Davis on Friday night.
Jordan Loveridge added 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Utes while Delon Wright chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Utah (2-0) led wire-to-wire.
Brynton Lemar scored 14 points while Josh Ritchart and Corey Hawkins added 11 apiece to lead the Aggies (1-2), who were held to just 33.8 percent shooting (22-of-65) from the field. Hawkins returned to the lineup after sitting out a game with a hand injury.
Utah dominated around the basket during both halves. The Utes out-rebounded UC Davis 49-27. They also enjoyed a 50-30 edge on points in the paint.
UC Davis could not figure out how to slow down the Utah offense. The Utes shot 60.3 percent (35-of-58) from the field and produced 20 assists.
Taylor made three consecutive baskets to help Utah open the game on a 15-2 run. Taylor did a little bit of everything in that stretch, hitting from outside and slashing to the paint, to keep the Aggies defense off-balance.
UC Davis regained some composure on offense and cut the Utes lead to 17-13 on a tip-in basket by Georgi Funtarov. Starting with a Hawkins jumper, the Aggies made four consecutive baskets to get back into the game.
It wasn't enough with Utah cutting to the basket at will. The Utes turned many possessions into layups to hold UC Davis at arm's length in the first half. Wright scored a layup to stop the Aggie run and start another spurt for the Utes. Jeremy Olsen capped the 13-4 run with a pair of free throws - giving Utah a 30-17 lead with 10:31 left before halftime.
But The Aggies also had another first-half rally left in them. UC Davis started fighting its way back into the game when three different Utah starters - Wright, Loveridge and Dakari Tucker - went to the bench after picking up two fouls.
The Aggies closed to within five with the Ute starters sidelined, making it 34-29 on a 3-pointer by Ryan Sypkens. Utah slammed the door shut once again before UC Davis could complete the comeback. The Utes held the Aggies over the final 3:57 of the half and scored 11 unanswered points to take a 45-29 halftime lead.
Utah also started strong after halftime, going ahead 53-33 - the team's first 20 point lead - on Loveridge's first basket of the game. The Utes led by as many as 28 points in the second half after Princeton Ownas made a layup to put Utah up 69-41 with 11:52 left.