Utes solid over Southern

Men's basketball » Utah not great but Jaguars come out flat.
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Utah wasn't especially scintillating Saturday night against visiting Southern University. Then again, considering the Jaguars' effort, the Utes didn't need anything special.

In a solid, workmanlike effort, Utah (2-1) eased, as in easy, to an 88-48 victory in the Huntsman Center.

Southern (0-3) didn't convert its first field goal until Jameel Grace's layup midway through the first half. By then the Utes owned a 15-6 lead, which eventually ballooned to 52-17 by halftime.

The 13 percent shooting by Southern in the first half was the second worst ever in history by a Utah opponent.

Utah coach Jim Boylen wasn't quite sure if it was because of Ute defense.

"They missed shots they usually make," he said. "At times our defense was very good. At times our rebounding was very good."

Things didn't improve in the second half, either. The only drama left was Utah's odds of hitting the century mark as well as maintaining its focus in the second half.

Utah, fresh off a dramatic one-point win against Utah State, came out with a job to do and set itself to doing it. The Utes were 16 of 30 for the opening half. They also swept the boards clean, winning that battle 32-11.

The message at halftime was clear.

"Are we going to respect the game and play the right way," Boylen said. "Yes. We did that pretty much."

With the pressure off, it was time to get all the players as much time as possible. At times, Boylen had three freshman and two sophomores on the floor.

"Exciting stuff," he said.

Freshman Marshall Henderson led the Utes with 13 points. Sophomores Carlon Brown and Jordan Cyphers also reached double figures as 11 Utes scored.

Jazz Williams paced the Jaguars with 21.

However, the Utes understood their coach's plea to play the second half with the same focus and determination as the first. It becomes difficult when a lead blows up to nearly 50, though.

"Coach wants us to play our minutes with force and take care of the ball," said freshman Shawn Glover, who came off the bench to add nine points and five of Utah's 53 rebounds. "He wants us to play as a team.

"Coach wants us to be efficient."

Whether he believed it, Boylen was also concerned about Southern's ability to rebound.

There was no need as the Jaguars managed just 27.

Utah's twin towers, 7-foot-3 David Foster and 7-footer Jason Washburn, combined for 13 boards.

"I'm still trying to get my legs under me," said Foster, who spent the past two seasons on a LDS Church mission. "We knew Southern was a big-time rebounding team. They did struggle tonight."



Utah holds Southern to 13 percent shooting in the first half, the second worst ever by a Ute opponent.

» Eleven Utah players reach the scoring column, including Marshall Henderson and Jordan Cyphers who combine for 25 points.

» Utah outrebounded the Jaguars 53-27. Southern managed just 11 rebounds by halftime.