Men's Basketball falls at Utah
Cards return to action on Saturday vs. Grand Canyon
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah's second half shooting proved to be too much to overcome on Friday night as the Lamar men's basketball team fell 84-57 to the Utes in their second game of the Global Sports Showcase at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
The hosts out of the Pac-12 Conference shot a blistering 69 percent from the field in the second half and ultimately out-shot the Cardinals 54 percent to 41. A big reason for the advantage was that Utah did most of its damage in the paint, out-scoring LU 46-26 down low.
With the loss, LU drops to 1-4 on the year, and Utah improves to 4-0.
Rhon Mitchell put together his biggest scoring output of the season with a game-best 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting and a team-leading five rebounds. Nimrod Hilliard continued the hot start to his LU career, scoring 16 and going 7-for-13 from the field with five steals. Hilliard has now scored 11 or more in all five games this season.
Amos Wilson was the only other Card to score in double figures, putting up 11.
The Red and White played a pretty even first half with the Utes as the duo of Hilliard and Mitchell scored nine points apiece in the frame to go into the break down six, 34-28.
"I thought we had a great first half, maybe the best first half that we've had all year," head coach Pat Knight said. "But I warned them that the other locker room was going to come out fired up, and then we took that hit in the first five minutes. They jumped on us, and we couldn't respond."
Utah came out of the break on fire, scoring 15 of the first 17 points of the second stanza to grab a commanding 51-36 lead just over five minutes into the frame. Back-to-back midrange jumpers from Wilson and Mitchell seem to put LU on the front foot once more, but the Utes had the answer, rolling off a 12-4 run to effectively put the game out of reach at 63-42 with 8:02 remaining.
The Cards will return to action with the final game of the Global Sports Showcase, taking on Grand Canyon at 3 p.m. on Saturday.