Utah forces 23 turnovers, beats Stephen F. Austin 74-66 (Dec 25, 2016)
HONOLULU (AP) After playing a couple of late-night games, Utah had an early wake-up call Christmas morning.
Not that it needed it.
Utah got off to a hot start and never relinquished it in a 74-66 win over Stephen F. Austin in the fifth-place game of the Diamond Head Classic Sunday.
David Collette scored 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting, JoJo Zamora and Devon Daniels had 16 each and Lorenzo Bonam added 12 for the Utes (9-3), who shot 58.5 percent (24 of 41) from the field.
Utah scored 30 points off of 23 turnovers by the Lumberjacks (5-7).
The game tipped off shortly after 7:30 a.m. local time.
''I've said I've got to be careful what you wish for, because my entire life coaching when we get these late games I've always said `man, I wish we could just play at seven in the morning and get it done,' and then have the rest of the day free,'' Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said. ''This is one of those examples of where we had to do that.''
Gabe Bealer's 3-pointer from the right corner off an assist from Collette gave Utah its largest lead at 49-35 and capped a 10-2 run with 12:26 left to play.
Stephen F. Austin got as close as 55-51 following a pair of free throws by Chase Winchester with 5:13 remaining.
The Utes made just 2 of 6 from the free-throw line in the first half, but were 18 of 22 in the second. They were 14 of 16 in the final 10 minutes of the game and made their final 10 attempts.
''We've had a couple games where that's been real important to us,'' Krystkowiak said. ''It's real important when you've got the momentum kind of shifting the other direction to make those. That's how teams catch up, when you don't put points on the board.''
Leon Gilmore III had 13 points, Ty Charles 11 and Ivan Canete 10 for the Lumberjacks.
Utah opened the game with a 9-0 run, but went scoreless for a stretch of more than five minutes while Stephen F. Austin used a 14-5 run to get within 20-18.
The Lumberjacks used a 2-3 zone to slow down the Utes.
''We played mostly zone the last 12, 13 minutes of the (first) half and just hoped they missed,'' Stephen F. Austin first-year coach Kyle Keller said. ''Fortunately they did and it got us back in the game. It slowed the tempo down at a decent pace and we were able to stay in the game.''
The Utes took a 32-26 lead into halftime.
It was just the second meeting between the schools and the first since Utah beat Stephen F. Austin 57-50 in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Utah: The Utes committed more turnovers than they had assists for the third consecutive game. They had 18 turnovers to 17 assists Sunday and turned it over a combined 57 times against 45 assists in their three Diamond Head Classic games.
Stephen F. Austin: The Lumberjacks are now 1-11 against current members of the Pac-12, with the lone win coming on Dec. 2, 1988 against Washington State in a neutral-site game in Akron, Ohio.
LOST THE BOARDS
Utah was outrebounded for just the second time in a game this season. The Utes grabbed 20 rebounds to 24 for Stephen F. Austin. The only other time the Utes were outrebounded (29 to 25) was in Thursday's 89-86 loss to San Francisco. They entered Sunday's game averaging 43.9 rebounds, which ranks eighth in the NCAA.
Stephen F. Austin sophomore forward TJ Holyfield was held out as a precautionary measure. Holyfield, the team's second-leading scorer with 12.2 points per game, sustained an undisclosed injury in a practice Saturday.
Utah will open Pac-12 play Sunday, when it hosts Colorado.
Stephen F. Austin will face Houston Baptist in its Southland Conference opener Saturday.