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Runnin' Utes Cruise Past Washington State on The Palouse

Jan 21, 2021
Photo Credit: Photo Services, Washington State University

Box Score (PDF)

PULLMAN, Wash. – Five players in double-figures led by a double-double from Branden Carlson guided the Utah men's basketball team past Washington State on the road, 71-56, Thursday night inside Beasley Coliseum.
The win snapped a 12-game road-losing streak in Pac-12 play for the Utes while also extending its win-streak against the Cougars to 13. Coincidentally, the last time Utah won a road conference game was at WSU back on Feb. 23, 2019, a 92-79 affair.
The first half could not have gone any better for Utah (6-6, 3-5 Pac-12) as it took a commanding 43-26 lead over Washington State at the half behind a .667 shooting (18-of-27) clip – tying its highest percentage set versus then-No. 17/15 Oregon back on Jan. 9 at home.
Carlson had a fantastic start for the Utes, scoring the first two baskets and led the team with 12 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting. Meanwhile, Mikael Jantunen and Alfonso Plummer each had 10 points apiece in the opening frame for Utah as well.
The Utes also did a great job sharing the ball, assisting on 12 of the 18 made shots in the first 20 minutes of action – six of which came from the hands of the Utah floor general Rylan Jones.

Utah cooled down a little bit in the second stanza, shooting just 41.7-percent (10-of-24) from the floor but still outscored the Cougars 30-28. The Ute defense continued to play at a high-level and held WSU (9-5, 2-5 Pac-12) to just 37.7-percent from the field compared to their 54.9 percent.
Washington State got as close as 14 points of Utah a couple times mid-way through the second frame, but Jones was wheeling and dealing Thursday night and dished out a season-high 10 assists – one shy of tying his career-high set last season against Mississippi Valley State at home. The Holladay, Utah, product is just the fifth player in the Pac-12 this season to dish out double-digit dimes in a single-game.

Carlson wrapped up his night with a team-best 14 points and 10 boards, the first double-double for Utah this season and first since Timmy Allen's double-double versus USC on Feb. 23, 2020. Allen finished with 13 points of his own with six assists.

Riley Battin found his groove in Pullman, tying his season-high with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Plummer also finished with a dozen points of his own off the bench, going 5-of-9 from the field while Jantunen rounded the list of double-digit scorers with 10 points.

The 66.7-percent (18-of-27) shooting from Utah in the first half tied for the highest clip in the first half this season, the Utes did the same vs. then-No. 17/15 Oregon back on Jan. 9. … the 38 points in the paint Thursday night ties for the second-most for Utah this season (UVU & Colorado) … Thursday was the first time Utah won a game in the red road jerseys this season, was previously 0-2 … Utah is now 2-2 on the year when shooting over 50-percent from the field … Utah is now 14-2 against Washington State since joining the Pac-12.
Utah now heads to Seattle with a couple days rest before facing off against Washington on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m. (MT) on ESPNU. Roxy Bernstein will have the call while Corey Williams serves as the analyst between the Utes and Huskies.