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Utah runs past Washington State 88-70

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It was a bizarre game at the Huntsman Center on Saturday night, as the Utes split with the Washington schools with a 88-70 win over Wazzu. The Utes built the lead to as much as 30, and had a 20 point lead at the half, but it didn’t feel like a very well played game by the Utes. They got pretty “meh” outputs from Barefield (11 points) and Tillman (7 points), but we did see some youngster put up some good numbers, that should be good for the future.

Utah was led by Timmy Allen and his 15 points, and he could have had so many more if he was able to convert around the basket, but he struggles in that area right now. Both Gach had 14 points, and his best game in quite a while. He was 2 of 3 from downtown and that missed three was his only miss on the game going 6 of 7 overall. He supplied a really nice punch throughout the game, and seems to be shaking off the ankle issue that’s been plaguing him since the Kentucky game. Riley Battin pitched in 11 points of his own, so that’s three freshman really leading the Utes.

The guy I’m excited to have the ball go through the hoop is Charles Jones. He put down 11 points of his own, with all of his field goals coming from beyond the arc, going 3 of 4 from back there. He is going to be key for this team to take another step, because he was recruited to put the ball in the hoop, and he needs to continue doing that.

Utah still turned the ball over 15 times, way too much, and was really sloppy to open the game. Fortunately, a team like Wazzu won’t take advantage. When Utah was getting a shot off, they were really efficient shooting 55% on the game. Defensively they didn’t allow big numbers, as WSU put up 35% shooting for the game.

It was a game Utah needed to win, and they did. Now they get a week off until they play Colorado at the Huntsman Center next Sunday.