SALT LAKE CITY – Playing in one of the most legendary buildings in college basketball, the Evergreen Geoducks took to the floor against a Pac-12 opponent for the first time in school history, falling to the Utah Utes, 128-44, in an exhibition game on Friday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
After Utah got the first basket, senior Marc Taylor (Boise, Idaho/Skyview HS/Edmonds CC) evened it up for the Geoducks at 2-2. Unfortunately for Evergreen, Utah would go on a 14-0 run as the 27-time NCAA tournament participants built the early lead. The Geoducks continued to battle as Utah continued to build the lead. The Runnin’ Utes would take a 59-20 lead into the break.
The second half didn’t get an easier for the Geoducks as Utah opened the second half on a 35-4 run to build the lead even larger. Playing in the same arena as the 1979 NCAA Championship game where Larry Bird and Magic Johnson faced off, the only negative for Evergreen was the final score as Utah earned the 128-44 win.
Evergreen was led by 11 points from senior Kyle Calhoun (Seattle, Wash./Hazen HS/Marshalltown CC). Kwame Awadjie (Tacoma, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS) came off the bench to add 11. Taylor finished with a team-high seven rebounds in the exhibition loss.
Utah was led by 24 points and 13 rebounds from Jordan Loveridge, who collected 11 of those points from the charity stripe. Delon Wright also recorded a double-double for the Runnin’ Utes, scoring 17 and bringing down 10 rebounds in the win. The Utes shot 63.6% for the game, making 42-of-66 shots from the floor.
The Geoducks play their second straight NCAA Division I opponent on Saturday night when they head north to Pocatello, Idaho to take on Idaho State University. Tip with the Bengals is set for 8 p.m. MST at Reed Gym.