Kuzma leads Utah past Montana State
Kyle Kuzma just missed a triple double and five other Utah players scored in double figures as the Utes defeated the Montana State Bobcats 92-84 on Thursday at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Kuzma compiled 16 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists as the Utes gave coach Larry Krystowiak’s his 100th win at Utah.
Devon Daniels led the Utes with 18 points as Krystowiak went to his bench early and often, and the move paid off.
Tyler Rawson came off the bench to score 17 points and grab nine rebounds. JoJo Zamora also provided a spark off the bench and scored 15 points.
Tyler Hall led the Bobcats (5-3) with 20 points. Zach Green added 15 points before fouling out.
The Utes (5-1) were coming off a home loss to No. 18 Butler on Monday. On this night, Utah used its size and length to maintain control after a hot start. They attacked the lane whenever possible, which led to numerous easy shots.
For the game, Utah shot 48.5 percent (32-for-66) while holding the Bobcats to 39.4 percent (22 of 66).
Utah came into the game leading the nation with 49.6 rebounds per game. Against Montana State, Utah held a 51-31 advantage, including 19 off the offensive glass.
Zamora sparked the offense off the bench in the first half with 12 points. Rawson also came off the pine and added eight as the Utes opened up a 47-35 advantage at intermission.
But coach Brian Fish had his Bobcats out of the Big Sky Conference within striking distance after going on an 11-4 run to start the second half.
Thanks to their 3-point shooting, the Bobcats were able to hang around and make things uncomfortable.
When Zach Green nailed a 3-point jumper from the top of the key, they only trailed 52-49 with less than 15 minutes left.
The Bobcats had a chance to slice the lead to two but missed a layup. On the ensuing inbounds play, Lorenzo Bonam completed an old fashioned three-point play to stretch the lead back to seven at 56-49.
The teams traded 3-point plays and when Devon Daniels completed another old-fashioned three-point play, the Utes had a 66-56 lead with 12 minutes to go.
From there, the Utes maintained a double-digit lead most of the way.