Utes Snap Long Road Losing Streak With Win Over Washington State

Jan 21, 2021, 10:21 PM
Branden Carlson - Utah Utes vs. Washington State...
Utah center Branden Carlson. (Photo Services, Washington State University)
(Photo Services, Washington State University)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Five Utah Utes basketball players score in double figures and snapped their long road losing streak with a 71-56 win over Washington State.

The Utes have lost 12 straight conference road games and 12 true road games entering the game against Washington State. Their last conference road win was against Washington State on February 23, 2019. They last won a true road game on November 5, 2019 at Nevada before their win on Thursday night.

Five Utah players scored in double figures led by Branden Carlson’s double-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. He scored 12 points in the first half. Timmy Allen added 13 points and 6 boards, while Riley Battin and Alfonso Plummer each had 12 points. Mikael Jantunen added 10 points.

The Utes shut down Washington State’s best player, Isaac Bonton, who had 4 points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field. Noah Williams led the Cougars with 17 points. Efe Abogidi added 12 points and 5 boards.

Three Utes Players Score In Double Figures In First Half

It was a strong first half all around for the Runnin’ Utes. They took a double digit lead midway through the half from an 11-0 run. When the first 20 minutes ended, Utah had a 43-26 lead. They shot 66 percent (18-27) from the field and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.

The Utes were sharing the ball as they racked up 12 assists on 18 field goals. Rylan Jones only took one shot in the first half but had 6 assists and just one turnover in the first half.

Branden Carlson had his best half as a Ute with 12 points, 5 rebounds, one assist and 2 blocks. Jones was getting Carlson involved early in the pick-and-roll. Mikael Jantunen and Alfonso Plummer each had 10 points in the first half.

Utes Cruises In Second Half To Snap Road Skid

In three of the last four games leading up to Utah’s road clash in Pullman, they had a halftime lead in every game during the home stand last week and lost the lead and game three times.

That wasn’t the case on Thursday as the Utes took a 17 point lead into the break. The Cougars pulled to within 12 points but Utah never folded. Rylan Jones was double teamed near his bench and threw the ball towards the hoop and Riley Battin caught it and made the short layup. Then with about four minutes left, the shot clock was running down and Pelle Larsson threw up a deep three from about 35-feet away and knocked it down.

That’s when you knew it was Utah’s night. They have now won 13 straight games over Washington State.

The Utes improved their record to 6-6 overall and 3-5 in Pac-12 play. They will travel to Washington on Sunday, January 24 at 2 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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