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Utes get back in the winning column, top Stanford

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NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Utah Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The Utes put together about as complete of a game as they’ve had this season I the 79-65 win over Stanford at the Huntsman Center on Thursday. The Utes had four players in double figures, led by Timmy Allen’s 22, 16 by Alfonso Plummer, 12 by Branden Carlson and 11 from Mikael Jantunen.

It was a pretty back and forth first half, while the Utes didn’t start off quite as hot as the last few games, they were steady. The Utes had a 9-2 run and a 9-0 run in that opening half to give them a 34-25 lead going into the locker room. Timmy had 15 of his points in the opening half, and Plummer came out firing as well. For this team to win games, they need to have more than two guys contribute on the offensive side of the ball, which they got on Thursday.

The bugaboo for the Utes the last two games were the opening minutes of the second half. In those games they surrendered double digit leads almost right away, against Stanford the offense didn’t turn the ball over too much, and they kept the ball moving and finding good shots to prevent the offense from stagnating. The Utes actually shot 56% in the second half, as opposed to 42% in the first. Stanford would make some small runs at the Utes, but Utah kept them at arms length almost the entire time.

Utah’s defense was also good again, as they held Stanford to 35.4% shooting on the game. They’ve been doing such a good job defending the last few weeks, it’s just the offense needs to come together more consistently. Rylan Jones was also a bit more aggressive with his nine points on 2 of 5 shooting, but I still want to see a bit more of an attack out of him.

NOTABLES

The plus-11 on rebounds against Stanford is the most for Utah this season with the previous season-high coming against Idaho … Utah outscored the Cardinal in the paint 34-16 … the last time a Ute made 10-plus free throws in a game was Allen against Oregon State at home on Jan. 2, 2020 … six rebounds is a new season-high for Pelle Larsson … three steals for Jantunen ties his career-high set against UC Davis last season on Nov. 29, 2019.

UP NEXT

Utah wraps up its four-game homestand in a week span this Saturday, Jan. 16, for an 8 p.m. (MT) tip on ESPNU. The Runnin’ Utes will look to secure another sweep of the Bay Area teams for the sixth-straight team since 2014-15 (did not play at home in 2018-19). Dave Pasch and Bill Walton will have the call on Saturday in the 34th meeting between the Utes and Golden Bears.