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Runnin' Utes Outlast Huskies in Pac-12 Tournament Opener

Mar 10, 2021

Box Score (PDF) | Timmy Allen Postgame Interview | Postgame Highlights | Boxscore

LAS VEGAS – The Utah men's basketball team was clicking from the get-go late Wednesday afternoon before Washington made things interesting late, but the Utes pulled away with the 98-95 win over the Huskies behind six players in double-figures led by Timmy Allen at T-Mobile Arena in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
With the win, Utah advances to the second round of the conference tournament and will play the second-seeded USC Trojans on Thursday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m. (MT) / 5:30 p.m. (PT) local on Pac-12 Networks. Ted Robinson and Bill Walton will once again have the call on while Matt Muehlebach is on the sidelines.
Utah (12-12) is now 2-0 against UW in the Pac-12 Tournament and advances to the second round for the eighth time since joining the league. The Utes are 3-4 all-time when playing the second round of the conference tournament. Wednesday's win was also Utah's first victory inside T-Mobile Arena since the tournament moved locations in 2017.
Alfonso Plummer didn't miss a beat in his return to T-Mobile Arena for the Pac-12 Tournament, as he drilled back-to-back 3-pointers - including a four-point play to give Utah the early 20-10 lead at the 13:17 media break.

Timmy Allen continued to play at his All-Pac-12 caliber level; wheeling and dealing for Utah as the Mesa, Ariz., product attacked the rim at will scoring 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds in the first half. Meanwhile, Utah couldn't miss early on from beyond the arc and hit 5-of-7 before finishing the half 8-of-15 from long range.
Utah's largest lead of the half came at the 10:55 mark after Plummer drained his third triple of the evening to give Utah the 29-12 advantage. However, Washington (5-21) didn't back down and finally found its footing late to go on a 10-2 run to get within 40-33 of the Utes before Allen sandwiched Riley Battin's second 3-pointer of the evening to go up 47-35 at the half.
Utah didn't lose any steam coming out of the locker room, continuing its offensive attack on a Washington team that looked like it had no answer to the half dozen Utah players taking turns scoring at will. The 3-point barrage not only came from Plummer but also from Larsson, Battin and Mikael Jantunen.

Leading 69-55 with 11 minutes remaining out of the media timeout, Allen got a hold of a bad inbounds pass and went 75 feet the other way to throw it down with authority. Washington continued to score every other trip or two down on offense but the Utes just couldn't miss as Larsson gave Utah its largest lead of the evening with 5:08 remaining, 87-68.

However, the final 4:36 minutes of the game showed the possibilities of March Madness as Quade Green relentlessly attacked the Utah defense along with Jamal and Erik Stevenson as the Huskies slowly scraped away at the Utah lead. Coupled with 10 second-half turnovers by Utah, Green scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half to make it a three-possession lead before time also became UW's enemy and ultimate demise.
Allen finished with a team-high 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting with 11 rebounds and four assists for his third double-double of the year. Meanwhile, Plummer added 21 points of his own behind 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Carlson had a great day on both ends of the floor for Utah, finishing the evening with 13 points and five rebounds. The European duo of Jantunen and Larsson each had a dozen points to their name while Battin rounded out the six Utes in double-figures with 11 points on 3-of-4 from long-range.
The 98 points is the most Utah has scored in a Pac-12 Tournament game … the 98 points is also the most by any Pac-12 team since Arizona State beat Stanford 98-88 in OT back in 2017 … the 14 threes for Utah is a season-high, the previous was nine that the Utes matched six times … the 193 total by both teams is the most in Pac-12 Tournament history … coincidentally, of the four other times where Utah shot 60-percent or better from the field and 53-percent or better from 3-point range – two have been against Washington per … Allen now has 1,303 career points, jumping Ken Gardner (1968-71, 1,291) and Johnnie Bryant (2005-08, 1,301) for 21st on the all-time scoring list at Utah.