SEATTLE—The Utah Utes battled the top Dawgs in the Pac-12 and came out victors with an 80-75 win in overtime. The Utes (15-5, 4-3 Pac-12) finished out a road sweep of the state of Washington this week to put themselves in a six-way tie for third place in the conference.
It was a slow offensive start for both teams, and neither offense was effective until the second half. There were 15 lead changes between the Utes and Huskies (13-6, 5-2 Pac-12), and the game was tied at 11 different times.
Exchanging free throws, three-pointers and layups, the teams battled for breathing room for entire second half. Neither team had a lead of more than five points.
Brandon Taylor, Dakarai Tucker, and Jordan Loveridge came up with monumental three-pointers late in the second half, battling through the deafening roar of the Husky student section. Jakob Poeltl led the charge down the stretch, making 13-of-16 free throws, six of which came in overtime.
Poeltl sank two free throws to give Utah a 75-73 lead in overtime. The following possession, Utah forced the Huskies into a shot clock violation. Kyle Kuzma was fouled on the ensuing Utah possession, allowing him to extend Utah’s lead to three points via a made free throw. Washington failed to score on their next possession, and fouled Poeltl, who stretched Utah’s lead to 78-73.
The Huskies had one more breath of life when Poeltl was called for a foul on a DeJounte Murray made layup, but Murray missed the free throw that would have cut the lead to a one-possession margin. Poeltl finished the game off making his last two free throws.
Utah’s first four possessions ended in two blocked shots and two turnovers. Washington had more team fouls than points until the 12:30 mark in the half. Neither team reached double-digits until 12:04 to play in the first half when the Huskies’ Marquese Chriss put his team up 10-9.
The Utes will head home to play California on Wednesday night at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Bears bested the Utes in Berkeley on January 4th, 71-58. Tipoff will be at 9:00 on ESPN700, with pregame coverage beginning at 7:00.
Larry Krystkowiak Postgame:
Jakob Poeltl Postgame:
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