Utah Basketball’s Season Ends With Double OT Loss To USC In Pac-12 Quarterfinals

Mar 11, 2021, 10:02 PM
Branden Carlson - Utah Utes vs. USC - 2021 Pac-12 Tournament...
Evan Mobley #4 of the USC Trojans dunks against Branden Carlson #35 of the Utah Utes during the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Conference basketball tournament on March 11, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah men’s basketball had their season come to end as they fell to the USC Trojans 91-85 in double overtime of the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals.

It was a hard fought game for Utah as they ran out of gas in the second overtime against USC. It didn’t help that four players, including Timmy Allen, Mikael Jantunen, Ian Martinez and Riley Battin fouled out of the game and Branden Carlson had four fouls.

Four Utes scored in double figures led by Timmy Allen’s double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Ian Martinez scored a season-high 18 points. Alfonso Plummer knocked down two triples to go with his 16 points. Mikael Jantunen finished with 10 points and four rebounds.

Six USC players reached double figures led by star big man Evan Mobley with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Isaiah White added 14 points, while Drew Peterson and Tahj Eaddy chipped in 13 points apiece.

Utes Struggle In First Half Against USC

The game went back and forth for most of the first half with very little runs occurring. USC pulled away a little bit with a 9-0 run over a three-minute span to take a five-point lead with just over six minutes left in the first half.

Pelle Larsson stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws. USC star Evan Mobley left the game with two fouls with 13 minutes left in the half. Utah went over five minutes without make a field goal.

After trailing by eight, Utah cut the USC lead in half with a layup by Alfonso Plummer and two free throws from Mikael Jantunen. The Trojans took a 34-29 lead to the halftime break.

Ian Martinez led the Utes with 8 points as they shot 41 percent from the field and made just three of their 10 three-point attempts. Isaiah White scored 9 points to lead USC as the Trojans made 52 percent of their field goals and went 2-of-8 from beyond the arc.

The Pac-12 Player, Defensive Player and Freshman of the Year Evan Mobley played just seven minutes and had two points in the first half.

Utah Runs Out Of Gas In Second Overtime

The first four and a half minutes of the second half was much of the same as Utah struggled shooting the ball but stayed within striking distance of USC. The Trojans picked up their biggest lead of the night after back-to-back triples to go up by 10 points with 12:24 left in the game.

Utah responded with a layup by Riley Battin and a pullup jumper from Ian Martinez. At the under-12 media timeout, USC was up 51-45 with 11:38 remaining in the game.

The Utes were on a 6-0 run and was within four points before Evan Mobley drilled a three-pointer. USC went up by nine points but the Utes countered with a three-pointer by Timmy Allen and Ian Martinez went coast-to-coast for a layup. The Trojans had a four point lead with 8:09 left in the game.

Utah trailed by three with just over one minute left in the game. Alfonso Plummer was fouled on a three-pointer. He made just two of three at the line. USC was ahead 68-67. On the next possession for USC, they committed an offensive foul.

The Utes missed a shot at the rim and Riley Battin fouled out on the loose ball. With another chance to tie the game, Utah turned the ball over. USC made both free throws at the other end. Timmy Allen missed his first shot in the paint before getting the offensive rebound and making it. USC’s lead was 71-69 with 16 seconds left.

When USC went back to the line, Ethan Anderson missed both free throws. Utah called a timeout at midcourt with 10 seconds left. Ian Martinez was fouled before the dunk and went to the free throw line. He made both free throws to tie the game. USC had the ball with 2.3 seconds left. White missed the halfcourt heave and the game went to overtime.

A big lead didn’t happen in overtime as it was either tied or USC had a two point lead. With 1:39 left, Utah had a rebound that went out of bounds. The officials called it off of USC before reviewing the play and reversing the call.

Down by three, Timmy Allen fought his way into the paint and scored the bucket to cut USC’s lead to just one with under a minute left. Ethan Anderson made both free throws after Pelle Larsson was called for a foul.

Out of the timeout, Alfonso Plummer hit a three-pointer to tie the game. USC called a timeout with 24.8 seconds left. The Trojans ran down the clock and missed as time expired and the game went to double overtime.

The Utes ran out of gas in the second overtime and four players fouled out at that point from the second half to the second OT.

Utah’s season is over as they finish with a 12-13 overall record and 8-12 in Pac-12 play.

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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