Taylor scores 18, No. 13 Utah routs Colorado 79-51
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Meeting little defensive resistance at the 3-point line, Brandon Taylor quickly settled into a deft shooting rhythm from beyond the arc.
Taylor scored 18 points on a career-best six 3-pointers and No. 13 Utah routed cold-shooting Colorado 79-51 on Saturday night.
''They were just leaving me open,'' Taylor said. ''They gave me more than enough space that I needed, that's for sure. I got in a rhythm very quickly. I just caught a groove.''
Jordan Loveridge added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Utah (18-4, 8-2 Pac-12), which has put together back-to-back wins since losing last week at UCLA.
The Utes' first win at the Coors Events Center since the schools joined the Pac-12 Conference three years ago completed a season sweep of Colorado. The Buffaloes lost the first meeting at Utah 74-49 on Jan. 7.
''We've been harping on playing defense and playing tough,'' Loveridge said. ''We got bullied really when we played here in past years. We didn't want that to happen tonight. We did beat them on the boards (36-28) and I think that was a big part of it.''
Josh Scott, who missed the last seven games and eight of the past nine with a back injury, had 10 points for Colorado (11-11, 4-6) in his return.
But the Buffaloes missed leading scorer Askia Booker, who was sidelined by a hip pointer.
Colorado shot just 29.8 percent from the field, converting only one of their nine 3-point tries. Utah converted 57.8 percent of its shots from the field, including a season-high 13 3-pointers.
''I told our team in the locker room that's what a Top-15 team looks like. They played like it tonight and they took it to us in every way,'' Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. ''They made every open shot. We weren't good enough defensively. We weren't good enough offensively. It was a good old-fashioned whupping. There's no other way to put it but we've got to take it and move on.''
Up by 12 at the break, Utah opened the second half with three consecutive 3-pointers, two by Loveridge, to move ahead 44-23.
The Buffaloes, meanwhile, made just two of their first 17 shots to start the second half. That allowed Utah to blow the game open with a 12-0 run that included two 3-pointers by Taylor for a 70-34 lead with just over six minutes left.
''I thought we shot the ball really well, and 20 assists, I thought we shared it,'' said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. ''Brandon got it going. We had three 3s to start the second half. It was a good performance.''
Dakarai Tucker and Taylor each hit 3-pointers in the final 46 seconds of the first half, helping Utah pull out to a 35-23 lead.
Missing the play-making Booker, Colorado struggled to get its offense going and trailed 17-3 in the first seven minutes of the game. The Buffaloes managed to cut the deficit to 18-12 before Utah began pulling away again.
Utah: The Utes have spent 12 weeks in the rankings, most in a season since 1999-2000. ... Taylor moved into eighth place all-time at the school with 149 career 3-pointers, ahead of Mark Rydalch (145). ... Jordan Loveridge had his first double-double of the season and the 11th of his career.
Colorado: Booker missed a game for the first time since his freshman year, when he sat out due to the flu. ... Freshman forward Tory Miller made his first career start in place of Wesley Gordon, who came off the bench after being late for a team meeting.
Utah: Hosts Stanford on Thursday night
Colorado: Hosts California on Thursday night