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SALT LAKE CITY - Jordan Loveridge scored a career-best 22 points and also grabbed nine rebounds to pace Utah to a clean sweep of its Thanksgiving tournament on Saturday night with a 66-54 victory over Wright State. The Utes improve to 4-1, their best start since the 2008-09 season.
Loveridge was joined in double figures by Dallin Bachynski (16) and Jarred DuBois (12). Bachynski was a perfect 5-for-5 from the line and also hauled in six rebounds, while DuBois had career-highs in assists (7) and rebounds (6).
Utah shot 52 percent in the second half as it ran away from the visitors. Once again, the Utes used a stingy perimeter defense to limit their opponents to 26 percent shooting for the game from three-point land (5-for-19).
The Runnin' Utes used their size and pounded the ball inside, leading to a +13 in the rebounding totals and an 18-1 advantage at the free-throw line.
Loveridge and the Utes blew the game open in the second half as the freshman's three-pointer pushed the lead to double figures for the first time at 56-44 with 5:51 to play. That sparked a 12-2 Utah run as Glen Dean drilled a three, DuBois added a bucket and Bachynski chipped in two free throws for the team's largest lead of the night (17).
It was game of runs at the onset as Wright State grabbed an early 8-0 advantage. A three from Bachynski got Utah on the board and started a 7-0 run that cut the gap to one. WSU went on another 6-0 spurt before Loveridge scored his first bucket to make the score 14-9.
Trailing by seven, Utah used an 8-0 run to take the lead for the first time thanks to two free throws by Loveridge. The teams went back and forth for the rest of the half and the Utes went into halftime ahead 30-26.
Bachynski led all scorers with 11 points while Loveridge had seven and DuBois had four points to go with four rebounds and assists.
Wright State shot 48 percent in the first half and was a +10 in bench scoring but Utah held the lead due to its strong perimeter defense (2-for-10) and 9-0 edge at the charity stripe.
Reggie Arceneaux led the Raiders with 12 points on the evening and was the only Wright State player to reach double figures.
Utah heads to the Lone Star State next week for two road contests. The Utes will play at SMU in the first of two games against the Mustangs this season, on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. They will then travel to play Texas State on Friday, also at 6 p.m.