LOS ANGELES — Utah did it again. Saturday’s thrilling 93-92 win over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion clinched a second consecutive winning season for the Utes in Pac-12 road games — something they’ve done in four of the past five seasons.
“It’s an important factor. You’ve got to be able to play with an edge,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said earlier in the week. “We’ve had a decent road mentality the last few years, actually, getting out and staying in games and making plays.”
Even so, Krystkowiak added that he couldn’t put a finger on exactly why things have gone so well. Dating back to last year, Utah had won eight of its past nine conference games on the road. The Utes have swept two trips this season, in the Bay Area and LA.
The Utes (5-1) still have games at Washington, Washington State and Colorado remaining for opportunities to break last season’s school-best 6-3 road record in Pac-12 play.
HISTORIC VENUE: Although Krystkowiak has played and coached in arenas around the world, he acknowledged there’s still something special about Pauley Pavilion and UCLA’s championship history.
“We’ve been here a few times now so some of the novelty wears off a little bit,” Krystkowiak said. “But John Wooden’s name is on the court. You don’t find that very often. So it’s good stuff.”
NO BIG DEAL: Krystkowiak picked up his 150th win as coach of the Utes in Wednesday’s 77-70 triumph over USC. It was news to Krystkowiak, who quickly put it in perspective.
“It doesn’t mean a thing,” Krystkowiak said of the milestone.2 comments on this story
For the record, Krystkowiak is fifth on Utah’s list of coaches with the most victories. He trails Vadal Peterson (385), Jack Gardner (339), Rick Majerus (323) and Jerry Pimm (173). Krystowiak’s total now stands at 151.
EXTRA STUFF: The attendance was 7,268 . . . UCLA’s Jaylen Hands finished with a game-high 27 points . . . Jayce Johnson wound up leading all rebounders with 10 . . . Sedrick Barefield had seven assists for the Utes, while Riley Battin made three steals . . . Utah remains in second place with the victory.