Jason Washburn also reached double figures for an eighth-straight game with 10 points and six rebounds as Utah shot 46 percent for the game, its best showing in league play so far. The Utes also held a double-digit advantage in paint points and got 35 points from its bench. However, WSU, which entered this game shooting 29 percent from beyond the arc in conference play, connected on a season-high 11 three-pointers on 20 attempts for a blistering hot 55%. All five Cougar starters finished in double figures with Mike Ladd leading the way with 22 points and six rebounds.
In a sign of things to come, WSU converted its first four tries from beyond the arc to open up a 12-5 lead on the Runnin’ Utes. Seymour, Washburn and Jarred DuBois all scored consecutively to cut the gap to a point. However, Royce Woolridge scored five in a row to push the margin back to six, 17-11.
In turned into a 14-4 Cougar run with Ladd scoring eight in a row for the home team. Despite the hot shooting by WSU, Utah kept the faith and Taylor poured in eight-straight for the Utes to keep them within striking distance.
Free throws by Taylor and an elbow jumper by DuBois cut the deficit to single digits at halftime, 34-26. Both teams shot the ball well in the half with Utah connecting on 44 percent of its tries and WSU hitting exactly half their attempts.
Utah rebounded the ball effectively and was a plus-5 at the break. In total, 14 of the 26 points scored by the Utes in the first preiod came in the paint and half the points were scored by substitutes Taylor and Seymour.
The Cougars ability to convert from distance (7-of-9 on three-pointers) was the big reason they led at intermission. However, another issue for Utah was that WSU scored 16 points off turnovers. Tthe Utes entered the contest, tops in the Pac-12 in turnovers but nearly matched their average (9.2) in the first half.
Trailing by 16 in the second half, the Utes got back into the contest with a 10-0 run, six from Seymour to make it 47-41 with 9:40 to play. However, WSU answered with an 8-0 run to push the lead back to 14 with 9:01 showing in the clock.
Five points from Loveridge cut the Cougar lead back to single digits but another three-pointer by WSU made it 58-46 with 6:46 to go. It would be the final time the Utes had the lead under 10 as WSU went on to capture its first Pac-12 game by 10.
The Runnin’ Utes are back in action on Saturday at 9 p.m. Utah travels to Washington for a televised game on ESPNU.