The Utah Utes pulled away from the UC Davis Aggies late in the first half, closing on an 11-0 run to take a 16-point lead, and never looked back in a 94-60 thumping Friday night at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.
Utah (2-0) enjoyed a 49-27 rebounding edge over the smaller Aggies (1-2) and outscored UC Davis in the paint by a 50-30 margin. Utah shot 60.3 percent (35-for-58) while holding the visitors to just 33.8 percent (22-for-65) from the floor.
The Utes went on an early 13-0 run to take control of the game 15-2 within the first four-plus minutes, but the Aggies rallied twice to fight their way back into the game. But Utah’s burst to close the first half seemed to be the one that finally put UC Davis away.
The Utes came out after intermission and outscored the Aggies 24-12 in the first eight minutes of the second half to turn the game into a rout.
Brynton Lemar came off the bench to lead UC Davis with 14 points and four steals in 24 minutes, while Josh Ritchart and Corey Hawkins scored 11 points each. Guard Avery Johnson led the Aggies with five rebounds.
Brandon Taylor hit 4-of-6 from deep for the Utes en route to 21 points, Renan Lenz finished with 20 points and Delon Wright had 12 points, nine boards and six assists. Jordan Loveridge had a double-double for Utah with 15 rebounds and 11 points and Lenz also contributed three blocked shots.
UC Davis is off until next Friday when they head north for the Portland State Tournament, a three-day, four-team round-robin event that includes Loyola of Chicago and SIU-Edwardsville in addition to host Portland State. The Aggies first opponent on Friday at 3 p.m. Pacific is SIU-Edwardsville (0-2).