Utah Basketball Ends Regular Season With Blowout Win Over Arizona State

Mar 6, 2021, 2:04 PM
Branden Carlson - Utah Utes vs. Arizona State...
Branden Carlson #35 of the Utah Utes slam dunks over Chris Osten #21 of the Arizona State Sun Devils during their game March 6, 2021 at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah played their best basketball when it mattered most as they picked up a 98-59 blowout win over Arizona State in the regular season finale.

Five Utah basketball players reached double figures in the win over Arizona State, led by Mikael Jantunen with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Alfonso Plummer added 15 points on three triples. Timmy Allen chipped in 13 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Branden Carlson nearly had a double-double with 11 points and 8 boards. Ian Martinez scored 12 points off the bench.

Utah emptied the bench late in the second half. 13 players appeared in the game with 11 of them scoring.

Alonzo Verge Jr. and Holland Woods led the Sun Devils with 13 points apiece. Jalen Graham chipped in 11 points.

Utah couldn’t have asked for a better performance heading into the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas next week.

Mikael Jantunen Sparks Utah To Impressive First Half Against Arizona State

It was a back and forth beginning to the game. Utah jumped out to a 5-0 lead before ASU got on the scoreboard. Then the Utes went scoreless for over two minutes. Midway through the first half, Arizona State went on a 7-0 run. The Runnin’ Utes answered with a 7-0 run of their own before exchanging buckets with under 10 minutes left in the first half. Utah was up 20-16 at that point.

Mikael Jantunen scored back-to-back buckets down the stretch to give the Utes their largest lead of the afternoon, 28-20 with 6:37 left in the half. Utah made 8 of their last 10 field goal attempts.

The Utes put the clamps down on ASU on the defensive end over a three-minute stretch late in the first half. Arizona State went scoreless during that span and turned the ball over three times. Utah extended their lead to 10, 32-22 with 3:31 remaining in the first half.

Riley Battin knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Utes a 41-28 halftime lead. Jantunen led the way with 13 points and 4 rebounds in the first half. He made his first five shots before missing a tip-in attempt. Alonzo Verge Jr. had 13 points in the opening half for ASU. Sun Devils star Remy Martin was held scoreless in the first 20 minutes and attempted just one shot.

Utes Crush Sun Devils With Dominant Second Half Performance

Early in the second half, Timmy Allen was assessed a technical foul for what appeared to be an exchange of words with someone on the ASU side. Sun Devils head coach Bobby Hurley was also T’d up. Utah jumped out to a 12-4 run to start the second half.

Utah went on a 11-1 run and the lead was nearly 30 points with under 14 minutes to play. At the under-12 media timeout, Utah was up 69-39 and outscored ASU 28-11 in the second half.

The Runnin’ Utes ended the game on a 13-2 run over the final 4:05.

Utah ends the regular season with an 11-12 overall record and 8-11 in Pac-12 play. They will be the No. 7-seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament. The Runnin’ Utes will face No. 10 Washington in the first round of the tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The game will tip-off at 5 p.m. MST on Wednesday, March 10 on the Pac-12 Network.

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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