Lorenzo Romar’s hope was the size and athleticism of his roster would make for a tough-to-solve 2-3 zone defense. In its first real test, Washington’s zone was no match for Utah in a 77-56 loss Sunday at the John M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.For the first time since it beat Oklahoma in mid-December, Washington played a ranked opponent. The 12th-ranked Utes were simply too explosive.
Over a three-minute span of the early portion of the second half, Utah (16-3, 6-1) hit four consecutive 3-pointers to build a 60-39 lead. The hot shooting of Dakarai Tucker and Brandon Taylor spurred a 17-1 run that ended any hope Washington had.
Trailing all game, the Huskies (14-5, 3-4) closed to 43-38 with 15:32 to play in the second half. Utah’s offense, seventh-ranked in shooting percentage at .497, started rolling.
Tucker had eight of his team-high 19 points, Taylor six of his 14, to lead Utah to the ninth win in its last 10 games. Star guard Delon Wright, averaging a team-high 15.1 points per game, scored five but dished out nine assists.
Andrew Andrews scored a game-high 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting to lead the Huskies. Robert Upshaw added 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Utes shot 11-for-18 from beyond the 3-point arc and 53.7 percent shooting, but it was their pesky defense that seemed to bother the Huskies. Washington had 12 turnovers.
Washington heads home looking to rebound against Stanford Wednesday.