This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Seattle, Wash. • After Andrew Andrews scored 17 points and added five rebounds and two steals against the Utes on Sunday night, a local reporter asked coach Larry Krystkowiak how Utah was able to keep Washington's senior guard in check.
It's the ultimate sign of respect to Andrew's work this season that a 17-point game is less than expected. The Utes worked hard to keep the Pac-12's leading scorer (22 ppg) merely average in an 80-75 overtime win at Alaska Airlines Arena. Krystkowiak emphasized it was a team effort with help from Brandon Taylor, Lorenzo Bonam, Isaiah Wright and Dakarai Tucker, among others.
"We take a lot of pride in playing defense," Krystkowiak said. "[Washington is] the highest-powered, highest-octane backcourt in the Pac-12 right now."
Utah held Andrews and his freshman counterpart Dejounte Murray to four combined first-half points quite the feat against a duo that averages more than 37 points per game. They were a combined 2 for 7 from the floor with six turnovers between them as Utah's guards smothered the backcourt and closed up 3-point opportunities.
The second half was a different story: Andrews came alive for 13 points after intermission, and finished the game 4 for 10. But the Utes also were able to keep him from registering an assist, and he had to go to the line for a number of his points (8 for 9).
The Utes made a quick exit from the arena to a Sunday night charter flight to Salt Lake City, trying to get home for some sleep and an early start to the week for Wednesday's game against Cal.
Utah's season is loaded with long splits between games on the road: Besides the Thursday-Sunday trip through Washington, the Utes also have remaining Thursday-Sunday trips to Oregon and Los Angeles. The scheduling makes for a difficult decision for the Utes, who have to take one day off a week. This trip, Utah opted to take off Friday, leaving them only one day of practice before Sunday's game.
It's less than ideal.
"I'd like to know who is writing those rules, and figure out if they could be in our seat, what day we're supposed to take off," Krystkowiak said. "It becomes a little bit unique where you don't have that off day set in stone, where it used to be Sunday. So we'll just continue to battle through."