SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The long awaited season opener for the Utes basketball team was worth the wait.
Alphonso Plummer scored 21 points, while Timmy Allen added 14, as the Utes cruised to a 76-62 victory over Washington Thursday afternoon at the Huntsman Center.
Utah finally got on the court after having several early-season games canceled due to COVID-19 issues in the program. Despite no games and a lack of practice time, the Utes looked just fine rolling in their latest season opener in modern history.
Mikael Jantunen added 10 points as the Utes shot nearly 52% in the second half. Utah had 21 assists on 28 made field goals and scored 23 points off Washington turnovers.
Plummer scored 11 points in the first half as Utah led 37-32. The Huskies cut the deficit to 51-46 with 13:32 left in the game, when the Utes took over with an 18-0 run over the next six minutes to increase the lead to 23 points.
Plummer knocked down a pair of 3-pointers during the run and Jantunen’s layup pushed the lead to 69-46 before Quade Green’s 3-pointer finally stopped the drought for Washington.
Plummer and Jantunen scored 12 of Utah’s 18 points during the crucial run.
Pelle Larsen had 8 points and 7 assists, Brandon Carlsen had 9 points and 5 rebounds, while Rylan Jones added 6 points and 5 assists. Utah had 21 assists as a team on 28 baskets.
Green tied his career high with 21 points, but the Huskies continued to struggle at the offensive end. Washington has shot under 40% in all three of its games. Nate Roberts added 12 points and 13 rebounds. The Huskies made just 2 of 14 3-pointers in the second half.
It’s the first 0-3 start for Washington since the 2002-03 season after losses to No. 2 Baylor and UC Riverside to open the season.
The Utes (1-0) will host Idaho State next Tuesday.