The University of Washington men’s basketball team, looking to win its fifth consecutive game to open a conference season for the first time since 1984, came out flat and sluggish, never recovered and lost to the University of Utah 74-65 Saturday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. It marked Utah’s first-ever road win since joining the Pac-12 Conference in 2011-12.
The Utes, holding C.J. Wilcox to no points, led 33-25 at the end of the first half, built a 56-41 lead with 8:08 to play, and maintained a mostly double-digit lead throughout the second half. Washington never could get anything going in losing for the first time in five games.
Washington is now 12-6 overall and 4-1 in conference play and has lost four times at home in 2012-13.
Utah shot 60.4 percent from the floor and held Washington to 37.3 percent. Wilcox, averaging 19.4 points per game, finished with 14, all in the second half, but made just 4 of 11 from 2-point range. Andrew Andrews led the Huskies with 17 points. Scott Suggs was the only other Husky to score in double figures, but his 12 points came on 4-for-16 shooting.
Utah, which entered the game 0-5 in conference play this season, was led by Brendan Taylor’s 19 points off the bench and 18 from Jason Washburn. Jordan Loveridge added 17.
The Huskies are entering a tough stretch. After taking on Oregon State Wednesday in Corvallis, they will play the Oregon Ducks Saturday in Eugene. The Ducks knocked off nationally ranked UCLA 76-68 Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion. Washington then returns to Alaska Airlines Arena to face nationally ranked Arizona Jan. 31.