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No. 22 Utah jumps to big early lead and routs Arizona State, 81-46

No. 22 Utah jumps to big early lead and routs Arizona State, 81-46
Utah forward Jakob Poeltl tries to power his way to the basket against Arizona State forward Eric Jacobsenduring the first half Thursday night. (George Frey / Associated Press)

Brekkott Chapman had 15 points and No. 22 Utah blitzed Arizona State, 81-46, on Thursday night, scoring the first 15 points of the game and opening a 30-2 lead on the way to its fifth straight victory.

Jordan Loveridge added 14 points, Brandon Taylor had 12 and Dakarai Tucker scored 10 for Utah, which plays its final two regular-season games at home, against Arizona and Colorado.

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The Utes (22-7, 11-5 Pac-12), just a half-game back of first-place Oregon, made their first five three-point attempts, including three by Loveridge, to jump out to a 15-0 lead.

Obinna Oleka scored for Arizona State, but Utah went on to score another 15 consecutive points. The eye-popping 30-2 lead produced some remarkable statistics: The Sun Devils started one for 16 from the field with four shots blocked and had 10 turnovers to go along with that single basket.

When Oleka finally made another bucket, on a putback 5:08 before halftime, the Utah crowd let out a loud mock cheer for ASU.

Gerry Blakes had 10 points and Oleka finished with nine points and 16 rebounds for Arizona State (14-14, 4-11). After shooting 14 percent in the first half, the Sun Devils completed the game at 25 percent from the field.

The Utes led at halftime by a stunning 44-10 margin and had more rejections (six) than the Sun Devils had field goals (four).

Nearly one year ago, 13th-ranked Utah held a similarly commanding halftime lead of 41-9 on its way to an 83-41 win over Arizona State.

The Sun Devils haven't won in their last 10 games at Utah, a skid that dates to 1975. The Utes are 14-1 at home this season.

ASU's collapsing zone defense was focused on Utah sophomore Jakob Poeltl, who had seven points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes. But that left plenty of room for Utah's perimeter shooters. Quick passing gave Utah a bevy of open long-range looks. In the end, Utah made 16 of 40 shots from beyond the arc.

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