Luke Nevill leads Utah past High Point, 77-64
SEATTLE (AP)—Luke Nevill scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Utah’s hot shooting blew open a close game early in the second half to lead the Utes past High Point 77-64 in the first round of the NIT Season Tipoff tournament on Tuesday night.
Johnnie Bryant scored all 10 of his points in the decisive 32-15 run after halftime that turned Utah’s four-point lead into a rout at 64-43.
Kim Tillie scored 12 points off the bench and Stephen Weigh added 11 for the Utes (2-0) in the second game of Jim Boylen’s coaching career. The former assistant at Michigan State replaced Ray Giacoletti, who resigned after Utah went 11-19 and lost by 26 points to UNLV in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament last March.
The Utes, who are returning four starters from that team, advanced to the second round of the tournament Wednesday against host Washington. The Huskies beat NJIT 88-47 in the late game. The winner heads to New York for the semifinals Nov. 21.
Arizona Reid, the preseason player of the year in the Big South Conference, scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds to lead High Point. The Panthers (0-2), who lost by six at Charlotte in their opener and are coming off a 22-10 season, are the preseason favorite to win their conference.
Bryant, who was 0-for-4 in the first half, scored 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting to lead Utah’s sprint through the first 12 minutes of the second half.
While the Utes were making 13 of their first 19 shots (68 percent) after halftime, High Point was missing 13 of its first 21 attempts.