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Utes lose another double digit lead, lose to Washington 83-79

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NCAA Basketball: Utah at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The theme of last season for the Utes was their inability to win road games. The theme for this season is the inability to finish games. The Utes dropped another game where they had a double digit lead, this time to UW 83-79. Unlike the other games, it was the defense that let the Utes down this time around, as they scored 80 points, and had four guys in double figures. The Utes were led by Branden Carlson, who had 18 points and has been playing really well recently, but his five total rebounds is a problem. Timmy Allen and Riley Battin each pitched in 15, which Allen also had 10 assists. Alfonso Plummer had 13 points as well.

Utah had a big 16-2 run in that opening half to give the Utes some separation with a 12 point lead, and it was looking like maybe Utah was going to be able to coast to the Washington sweep, but of course, with this team, that wasn’t going to be the case. UW just cut away at Utah’s lead in the last half of the second half, and got the game tied at 41 at half. Jamal Bey scorched the Utes with his 28 points.

The second half was a back and forth affair, for the most part, with neither team really wanting to stop the other. UW shot 51% for the game, and 50% from three point land. Rylan Jones couldn’t follow up his great game against WSU, with just the three points and one assist, but he was saddled with four fouls. Utah held the lead for 30 minutes of this game, while UW held it for just five minutes. Utah just couldn’t close the deal, and some terrible turnovers in the final minute of the game really put the nail in the coffin for the Utes.

NOTABLES

First time Utah has had a player record a double-double in back-to-back games since last season (Jan. 2-4, 2020 vs. Oregon State and Oregon) … Utah won the battle of the glass 32-28 and now moves to 4-3 when leading in the category … this is the third time this season Utah has dished out 20 assists this season, others included vs. Idaho State and Oregon … Utah finished with 31 FGM, the last time it recorded 30-plus FGM was against UCLA (31) on March 9, 2019 … Utah led for 30:01 minutes of the game to Washington’s 5:16 minutes with the lead.

UP NEXT

Utah will have another road swing on its horizon before returning home for a pair of games against the Arizona schools (Feb. 4-7). The Runnin’ Utes will first get five days rest before facing off against Colorado (Jan. 30) on the road. Utah will stay on the road and play its make-up game against Arizona State on Feb. 2 in Tempe before returning home. Both games are slated to air on the Pac-12 Networks.