No. 13 Utah stumbles on way to Pac-12 tournament, falls to Washington 77-68



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SEATTLE — Larry Krystkowiak was blunt. There was no point holding back on his assessment of where No. 13 Utah stands having dropped three of its last five games and with the postseason now on the horizon.

He is clearly concerned after the Utes were stunned by Washington 77-68 on Saturday.

"We lost some pride and hopefully it's a nice little wake up call for a bunch of guys that have been drinking some Kool-Aid that think we're a lot better than we are," Krystkowiak said. "We're making the game way too complicated. We're a pretty talented team when we play harder than the other team and when we take care of the ball, we've got a chance but you can't come into a road environment like this and be as sloppy as we were."

The Utes (23-7, 13-5 Pac-12) have stumbled toward the end of the regular season, losing on the road at Oregon and falling at home to Arizona. Those losses could be justified.

But losing to Washington, a team the Utes beat by 21 at home in January and had lost 10 of 11 games?

"Everybody needs to be on the same page. I'm not saying we aren't, but going to Vegas, everyone has to be on the same page," Utah's Delon Wright said.

Wright led the Utes with 21 points and Jakob Poeltl added 18 but was held to three in the second half. Poeltl was 7 of 7 from the field in the first half but was taken out of the game by Washington (16-14, 5-13) in the final 20 minutes.

The loss also had seeding implications for the Utes. Utah will now be the No. 3 seed for next week's Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas after finishing in a tie with Oregon, but losing the only regular season meeting against the Ducks.

That could mean a potential rematch with Washington in the quarterfinals.

"It doesn't matter. Whoever we play we're going to be ready," Wright said.

The Utes clearly weren't ready Saturday.

Nigel Williams-Goss scored 28 points, including a deep 3-pointer with 1:08 remaining as the shot clock was about to expire as the Huskies rallied in the second half after it appeared the Utes were going to pull away.

The Huskies surged into the lead midway through the second half behind a 22-8 run. Washington pulled even at 45 on Anderson's driving layup and his two free throws on the next possession gave Washington its first lead since 30-29 late in the first half. Utah went more than 6 minutes without scoring before Dakarai Tucker's fastbreak layup off a Washington turnover with 9:11 left.

Jordan Loveridge added a banked 3-pointer but the Washington run continued. Jarreau sandwiched two 3-pointers around Andrews' driving layup, the second 3 giving Washington a 55-50 lead with 6:44 left.

Loveridge later hit another 3 with 3:13 left to cut Utah's deficit to four, but Williams-Goss answered with another floater and hit the key 3-pointer as the shot clock was about to expire. Washington was 8 of 8 at the free throw line in the final minute.

Andrew Andrews had 16 points and Mike Anderson added 15 in his final home game for Washington. Jernard Jarreau scored a career-high 14 for Washington including three 3-pointers.

"Today was fun to watch from a coach's perspective because we played right for 40 minutes on both ends of the floor," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.

FIGURE THIS OUT

Washington will go to the Pac-12 Tournament owning three victories this season over teams that were ranked in the AP Top 15 at the time of their matchup. Washington beat then-No. 13 San Diego State and then-No. 15 Oklahoma in December.

TIP-INS

Utah: The Utes entered the regular season finale as one of two teams nationally not to allow an opponent to score more than 72 points in a game. Ball State scored 72 on the Utes in the season opener.

Washington: The Huskies trailed at halftime for the 14th straight game. ... Jarreau had never hit more than one 3-pointer in a game.

UP NEXT

Utah: The Utes will have a bye on the first day of the conference tournament and play Thursday evening.

Washington: The Huskies will play in the opening round of the conference tournament on Wednesday as the No. 11 seed against Stanford.

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