After losing to then-No. 10 Arizona, 69-51, last Saturday, the Utes (15-3, 5-1 Pac-12) rebounded in a big way by returning to their winning ways at home, where Utah has defeated unranked opponents 31 consecutive times.
Jordan Loveridge scored 14 points for Utah, which played without Jakob Poeltl (ankle) but exploited a 20-1 edge in points off turnovers to turn the game into a blowout.
DaVonte Lacy scored 15 points and Jordan Railey had 12 for the Cougars (9-9, 3-3). Josh Hawkinson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season.
The game could have been capsulized in one play that gave Utah a 78-58 cushion. Wright nabbed his third steal on an entry pass, found Taylor on the fast break and he threw an alley-oop pass to Dakarai Tucker for a layup.
Taylor's 3-pointer gave Utah a 60-42 advantage, but the Cougars took advantage of a Utes cold spell and made three 3-pointers in a row. Brett Boese, who had 12 points, hit a long-range jumper that drew the Cougars to 62-52 with 10:54 to play.
Washington State led by four early and trailed 27-25 before the Utes picked up the pressure and prevented the Cougars from converting another field goal the rest of the half.
On the other end, Loveridge sparked a 19-2 run with a 3-pointer while getting fouled. The Utes led 46-27 at the break.
After receiving a “good, old-fashioned beatdown” at Arizona, as Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak put it, the Utes again lost the rebounding battle (35-30) but dominated in all other phases of the game.
The Utes made 19 of 22 free throws while the Cougars lost their chance to stay in the game by going 14 for 27 from the line.