The game between the University of Washington Huskies ( 16-9 overall, 8-6 Pac-12 Conference) and the Utah Utes( 17-9, 7-6) lived up to its billing, two teams on the cusp of the Pac-12 title race looking to make one last push for the conference title before the Pac-12 tournament.
The Huskies were trying to erase a horrendous road trip in which they lost two consecutive games to Oregon State and Oregon while the Utes wanted to continue their California dreaming after beating Stanford and California.
As expected the two teams started the game with focus and determination. The Huskies played their customary hard-nosed defense contesting each shot by Utah and the visiting Utes, in turn, were not about to get pushed around by the host who had beaten five straight times.
The Huskies hard-nosed defense prevailed in the first half as Utah went 0-8 in the last 3:15 seconds of the half and the Huskies went into the locker room with a 32 to 24.
The start of the second half was an exact role reversal of the first half as the Utes went on a 21-4 to run to start the second half and take a seven-point lead with 12:10 left in the game at 45- 38.
A jumper by Hemier Wright on the Huskies next offensive possession cut the lead to just five points but that is the closest the Huskies got as they were unable to overcome a back shooting night that was accompanied by some lackluster second-half defense.
The Utes shot a scorching 70% from the field in the second half after shooting a mere 27% in the first half. The Huskies shot 36.7% from the field in the second half which was a definite decline from their 47.6 first half percentage.
The Huskies will host Colorado (15-10,7-6) on Saturday 5:00p.m. PST and will retire the jersey of former player Isaiah Thomas at halftime. Utah will complete the Washington road trip when they take on the Washington State Cougars (9-15, 1-11) in Pullman.