Cougars cannot get past the Runnin’ Utes

Three players score in double digits, but solid players cannot save game



Freshman guard Noah Williams looks for a move against Oregon State University on Jan. 18 at Beasley Coliseum.

WSU men’s basketball finishes its road trip by falling short to the University of Utah Runnin’ Utes 76-64 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.

WSU (12-9, 3-5) remains historically winless on the road against Utah (12-7, 3-4).

Three players from WSU scored in double digits. Junior guard Isaac Bonton led the Cougars with 21 points, and sophomore forward CJ Elleby scored 12 points. Senior guard Jervae Robinson scored 13 points; a new season high for him.

Utah’s leading scorer this season sophomore forward Timmy Allen scored 11 points on five of 12 shooting. Utah freshman guard Rylan Jones led the Utes with 24 points on eight of 10 shooting and went six of six from the free throw line.

Elleby picked up two early fouls in the first five minutes of the game. He was benched after his second foul and returned at 10:10 left on the clock.

Both teams combined for 19 turnovers in the first half. WSU’s first 15 points came off six of seven shooting with three 3-pointers. The Cougars missed the next 11 3-pointers in the half.

WSU did not trail since the opening tip until Utah regained the lead with 4:26 left in the half. The Utes went on a 13-2 run at this point. WSU scored four points in the final seven minutes of the half.

Utah led WSU 37-25 at halftime, and Elleby had a scoreless stat line. Robinson led the Cougars in scoring with eight points before the start of the second half.

The second half was scoreless in the beginning two minutes until Elleby scored a 3-pointer with 17:51 on the clock for his first points of the game. The Cougars went on a 18-5 run to chip away at Utah’s lead and regained a 43-42 lead with 13:57 on the clock after a Bonton 3-pointer.

Utah took the lead again shortly afterwards and did not lose the lead for the remainder of the game.

Freshman guard Noah Williams picked up his fifth and final foul with 11:28 left on the clock. Elleby fouled out as well in the final two minutes of the game.

Jones led the Utes in the final 10 minutes of the game and scored 18 points in the second half. Utah finished the game with a victory and held WSU to two free throws made and 21 total rebounds, both seasonal lows. This is WSU’s first loss this year when shooting at least 40 percent from the field.

The Cougars return home to face the Arizona State University Sun Devils at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Beasley Coliseum. The game will air on ESPNU.