VETERANS LEAD THE WAY IN SEASON-OPENING WIN FOR RUNNIN’ UTES via JOHN VU, UTAH ATHLETICS
Alfonso Plummer and Timmy Allen combined for 35 points in Utah’s season-opening victory over Washington at home.
SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah men’s basketball team opened its season with a 76-62 victory over conference foe Washington Thursday night in the Jon M. Huntsman Center behind a 21 point effort from senior Alfonso Plummer.
With the win on Thursday, the Utes are now 98-16 overall in their home-openers and 78-13 all-time when those home-openers have also served as the season-opener.
The Utes took a while to shake off the rust from in the early part of the first half but a 10-0 run capped off by a jam from Branden Carlson on a Timmy Allen dime gave Utah the lead, 24-21, with 7:13 on the clock. After some back-and-forth action between the two teams, a 13-2 run that bled into the opening minutes of second half gave Utah its first double-digit lead, 42-32, on a short jumper from Allen. The Utes took a 35-30 advantage into the half before continuing its run.
Midway through the second stanza, the Utes began to click and finally shook off their rust with an 18-0 spurt that ultimately put the game out of reach for Washington, 69-46. Utah held the Huskies scoreless for 5:55 minutes during that offensive stretch before Quade Green, UW’s leading scorer with 21 points, drained a deep three.
Washington tried to cut into the Utah lead at the end, but it was too little too late as the now, more veteran Runnin’ Utes squad secured the 76-62 victory.
Allen finished with 14 points and eight boards with four assists while Mikael Jantunen joined the double-digit list with 10 points and eight rebounds of his own on 5-of-6 shooting. Newcomer Pelle Larsson looked quite comfortable on the floor in his debut, scoring eight points with seven assists in under 18 minutes of action. Big man Branden Carlson added nine points and five rebounds of his own while Riley Battin added six points and five boards in the win.
Utah is now 17-11 all-time against Washington and 12-6 under head coach Larry Krystkowiak … Utah converted 13 UW turnovers into a 23-10 edge in points off turnovers … Utes also used their speed and outscored Washington 21-10 in fastbreak points … the 21 assists tonight was the most in a game since Central Arkansas (20) on Dec. 7, 2019 … Utah shot a blazing 51.6-percent (16-of-31) from the floor in the second-half, including a .444 shooting clip from beyond the arc (4-of-9).
Utah remains at home for its next game, playing host to Idaho State (0-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. (MT) on the Pac-12 Networks before heading down I-15 to play in-state rival BYU on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 4 p.m. on BYUtv.