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Lawson Lovering scores 17 as Utah thrashes Bellarmine


Lawson Lovering tallied 17 points and seven rebounds to lead Utah to an 85-43 victory over Bellarmine on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

Gabe Madsen scored 12 points on four 3-pointers for the Utes, and Hunter Erickson chipped in 10 points. Ben Carlson had a team-high nine rebounds to go with nine points.

Utah (9-2) earned its sixth straight victory to wrap up nonconference play. The Utes shot 50 percent from the field and made 11 of 27 3-point attempts (40.7 percent). They smothered the Knights with their defensive pressure and outscored Bellarmine 15-0 in fastbreak points.

Billy Smith led Bellarmine with 14 points, while Langdon Hatton chipped in 10.

Bellarmine (4-9) shot just 32.7 percent from the field, 5 of 17 (29.4 percent) and committed 23 turnovers. Utah scored 28 points off those takeaways.

The Knights trailed most of the first half but still found a way to make life tough on Utah early. Lovering gave the Utes a much-needed boost on offense through the first few minutes, scoring six of his team’s first 11 baskets and totaling 13 points before halftime.

The Knights made five straight shots, capped by Ben Johnson’s jumper to cut Utah’s lead to 26-24. A 3 1/2 minute scoring drought kept Bellarmine from erasing the deficit altogether.

The visitors’ slump opened the door for the Utes to extend their lead behind a 11-2 run. Madsen and Carlson punctuated the spurt with back-to-back baskets, giving Utah a 37-26 lead going into halftime.

Madsen made three 3-pointers in three minutes to help the Utes boost their lead to 46-28 early in the second half. Utah eventually built a 32-point edge behind a 17-0 run. Starting with a basket from Lovering, the Utes made six consecutive shots, and they built the lead to 65-33 just past the midway point of the second half.

–Field Level Media

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