SALT LAKE CITY — Utah erased an 18-point deficit and got within 3, but couldn’t prevail in the end as Stanford denied the Utes a comeback and their first conference road victory of the season.
Utah (15-13, 6-10) will have to continue to wait as Stanford (19-9, 8-7) claimed a 70-62 win Wednesday night at Maples Pavilion.
The Utes battled back in the second half and were within a possession of tying the game up, but a Jaxon Brenchley corner 3-point attempt bounced out as Stanford’s Oscar da Silva rebounded the ball. But Utah’s Branden Carlson knocked the ball out of his hands and out of bounds, and the Utes had another opportunity to draw up a play.
The inbound play went to Carlson, the 7-foot center who already drained a 3 earlier in the game, at the top of the key for an open 3-point look.
The shot was clean, it had great distance, but the ball bounced off the rim and Utah missed another opportunity to tie up the game. Stanford pushed the ball down the court and used some good ball movement to get an open corner 3-pointer from Jaiden Delaire to extend the lead.
The Cardinal went on to outpace the Utes in the final minutes in an 8-point victory, and to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Utah only scored 22 points and turned the ball over 12 times in the first half to limit any chance of keeping the game close. Stanford took advantage of the Utes' many mistakes and managed 15 points off of Utah’s turnovers to claim an early double-digit lead. Da Silva went to work against the Utes and finished with 13 first-half points to lead the Cardinal. He ended the night with 20 points and seven rebounds.
The Utes came out of the halftime break with determination and a much more aggressive style of play. The shift, which was led by sophomores Timmy Allen and Both Gach, got the Utes within 6 multiple times on their way to a combined 32 points.
But Stanford had an answer for every Utah run: freshman guard Tyrell Terry.
The 6-foot-2 guard had only 9 points at the halftime break, but exploded in the second half to lead the Cardinal’s charge. Terry hit key buckets, including seven 3-pointers, to cool Utah’s hopes. Freshman guard Rylan Jones eventually quieted Terry with aggressive defense for a time as Utah made another run, but Terry couldn’t be contained and finished with 27 points and three rebounds to lead the Cardinal to a win.
Allen led the Utes in scoring with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Gach added a much-needed 15 points and five rebounds to spark a second-half run. Carlson added 12 points and four rebounds, but had another monster night on defense and had eight blocks for the second time this season against the Cardinal.
The Utes were rounded out by Brenchley off the bench, who added 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting from 3.
Utah closes out its final road trip of the regular season on Saturday against the California Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, California. The game tips off at 4 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.