Utah Snaps Losing Skid With Upset Win Over No. 19 USC

Feb 27, 2021, 8:37 PM
Alfonso Plummer - Utah Utes vs. USC 2021...
Utah Utes guard Alfonso Plummer (25) fires a three-pointer from the corner during game against USC at the Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah men’s basketball team snapped their four-game losing streak with a 71-61 win over the 19th ranked USC Trojans on Saturday.

Alfonso Plummer led Utah with 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the three-point line in the win over USC. Timmy Allen added 15 points and 8 assists. Ian Martinez chipped in 10 points off the bench.

Utah’s last win over a ranked opponent was December 18, 2019 when they knocked off No. 6 Kentucky in Las Vegas. The Utes had Mikael Jantunen back in the lineup after clearing quarantine following Finnish National Team duty. Also, Rylan Jones was back for his second game. But in the first half, Jones went out with a shoulder injury, the same shoulder he injured previously and missed 4 games.

Once again, Utah shut down Evan Mobley, who will likely be a top 5 NBA Draft pick. Mobley finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds on just 2-of-7 shooting from the field.

Drew Peterson scored 19 points to lead USC. He and Evan Mobley were the only Trojans to score in double figures.

Turnover Filled First Half Mixed With Poor Shooting

Utah scored a bucket and two free throws early before USC answered with a 6-0 run. The first half was full of turnovers and poor shooting. Utah and USC combined for 19 first half turnovers, 10 for Utah and 19 for USC. The Runnin’ Utes shot 37 percent in the first half, while USC made 42 percent of their field goal attempts.

Alfonso Plummer led the Utes with 8 points in the first 20 minutes. Ian Martinez added 5 points off the bench. Isaiah White and Drew Peterson each scored 6 points to lead the Trojans. USC held a 29-27 at halftime.

Utah Plays Motivated Basketball In Second Half Against USC

Utah started the second half on an 8-0 run. Pelle Larsson hit a three-pointer to start the run, followed by an and-one by Timmy Allen before a jumper by the junior forced USC to call a timeout. The Runnin’ Utes were up 35-29 with 17:56 left in the game. The lead reached 48-35 with 13:14 left in the game. Utah made 9 of their last 10 field goals, while USC missed their last six shots and went 3:35 without a field goal.

The Utes had a 6-point lead heading down the stretch as USC was gaining momentum. But back-to-back threes by Branden Carlson and Alfonso Plummer stopped that run.

Utah improved their record to 10-11 overall and 7-10 in Pac-12 play. They will host Oregon State on Wednesday, March 3. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. MST and will be televised 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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