After a week off for both the Buffs and the Utes, it appears one team wanted to take a little more time off, as the Utes jumped on top of CU early in this one, effectively ending the game in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Utes came out of the gate just attacking CU from beyond the three point line and building a 21-7 early on after threes by Barefield and Van Dyke really got the Utes jumped started, and that was followed by a 13-4 run to take a 34-11 lead, which essentially put the game away before halftime. The Utes led 41-19 at the break.
Utah came out of the break with the same fire as they increased the lead to 28 points, and the Utes effectively shut things down with around eight minutes left in the game, which did allow CU to eventually cut the deficit to 10 points, but the game was never really in doubt. Timmy Allen really was able to assert himself in that second half and keep CU at bay himself, and Tillman helped as well.
The Utes got a balanced effort from their top three guys, Sedrick Barefield with 22 points, most of which came in the first half, Timmy Allen, who had 21 points and 10 boards, plus Donnie Tillman who had 11 points of his own off the bench. Allen has started to really assert himself over the last handful of games, and if he continues up his progression, he can be a real monster for this team.
The Utes played a rather clean game as well, only turning the ball over 11 times while racking up 16 assists. The Utes ended up shooting 45% for the game, while they hit eight of their nine threes in the game in that first half flurry. The Utes did hold CU to 40% shooting on the game without their point guard McKinley Wright. Where the Utes really need to work is their free throw shooting, only converting on 19 of 29 attempts.
Overall, a really nice win to beat the Buffs down like they did and to protect the home court. The Utes are now 3-2 in conference play, and are in a solid spot right now. This team is going to have to continue to work, but with the league the way it is right now they can make some noise if they play well. They’ll need to continue playing well next week as Utah is back on the road in the Bay Area. Utah will take on Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 24, before closing out the week at California on Saturday, Jan. 26.