UTAH UTES

Allen, Plummer Help Utes Snap Three-Game Skid With Win Over Trojans

Feb 23, 2020, 7:12 PM | Updated: 8:06 pm
Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) aims for the basket USC Trojans guard Jonah Mathews (2) at the Jo...
Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (1) aims for the basket USC Trojans guard Jonah Mathews (2) at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News)
(Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utes snapped their three-game losing streak with a 79-65 win over the USC Trojans after Timmy Allen and Alfonso Plummer combined for 39 points.

Allen led all scorers with a game-high 21 points along with 10 rebounds and 3 assists on 7-13 shooting from the field and 7-12 from the free throw line. It’s Allen’s first double-double since January 18 when he had 18 points and 10 rebounds in their road loss to Arizona State.

Plummer scored 18 points on 5-8 shooting from beyond the arc.

Branden Carlson and Mikael Jantunen round out the Utes that scored in double figures with Carlson dropping 11 points and 8 rebounds, while Jantunen posted 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Utes Second Half Surge

After outscoring the Trojans 34-28 in the first half, the Utes had a tremendous second half offensively. They shot 62 percent from the field and made 5-7 from the perimeter in the final 20 minutes of action. Utah dropped 45 points and held USC to 44 percent field goal shooting and just 23 percent three-point shooting, leading to 37 points.

Allen scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half and pulled down half of his rebounds in that span. Plummer nailed three of his five triples in the second half and Jantunen scored 11 of his 13 points in the final 20 minutes.

Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak discussed the recent play of Plummer and Jantunen.

“I thought Fons had a terrific weekend,” Krystkowiak said. “When you look at his numbers, he’s playing with a lot of confidence and you’ve been watching us recently we’ve been having a hard time putting the ball in the basket so those three’s add up really fast and he’s not afraid to shoot them. I think we have a few guys that are a little bit hesitant right now so that was great, his effort was there and Mickey’s always going to bring effort to the game. Both of the games were a little gritty when you get those big bodies out there and we needed some of that size and the energy was key I thought.”

Utah was sharing the ball as well with 11 assists on 15 made field goals in the second half. USC was the opposite with just 2 assists on 15 field goals.

Unfortunately, the Utes lost true freshman point guard Rylan Jones to a leg injury that he suffered towards the end of the first half. His status for Utah’s next game is unknown.

USC Missed Key Big Man

The Trojans missed the presence of senior big man Nick Rakocevic. He played just five minutes and had two points and two rebounds. Entering the game, Rakocevic was dealing with an illness and did not play in the second half. He had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the first meeting this season in Los Angeles.

True freshman Onyeka Okongwu led USC with 18 points and 12 rebounds on 8-11 shooting from the field. Elijah Weaver was the only other USC player to reach double figures, finishing with 13 points.

As a team, the Trojans shot 43 percent from the field, 7-23 for 30 percent from the perimeter and just 6-16 for 37 percent from the free throw line.

USC was trailing by 10 points midway through the second half off of an 8-0 run but the Utes stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer by Plummer.

The Utes improved their record to 15-12 overall and 6-9 in Pac-12 play. They will hit the road for the final trip of the regular season beginning with a stop at Stanford on Wednesday night. Tip-off from Palo Alto is at 8 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

The Crimson Corner podcast is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches, and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

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