SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – This time, Utah was able to finish.
After blowing back-to-back 10-point halftime leads against Oregon and Colorado, the Utes pulled away from Stanford Thursday afternoon at the Huntsman Center, 79-65.
The victory ended a four-game losing skid as the Utes won for the first time since December 18th.
Timmy Allen scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Alphonso Plummer poured in 16 points, as the Utes evened its record at 5-5 overall, 2-4 in Pac-12 play.
“We just tried to set the intensity and effort early, and try to carry it through 40 minutes,” said Allen. “I think we did a better job of finishing today.”
The Utes took the lead with a 14-2 run to end the first half and spent most of the second half with a double-figure lead, despite several challenges when the Cardinal got within nine, the last time with just under four minutes to go.
Branden Carlson had 12 points and four blocks, while Mikael Jantunen 11 points and seven rebounds, as the Utes finished with four players in double figures.
“We’ve done enough talking,” said head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “Our guys have seen enough film, and when you play four games in seven nights as we’re about to do, as a coach you realize that the guys know what it is we need to do. They’re big boys, and I think they came out and made some big plays.”
Daejon Davis, in his first game back after missing five with an injury, had a season-high 19 points to become the 49th player for the Cardinal (8-4, 4-2) to reach 1,000 career points. Ziaire Williams scored 17 points and Oscar da Silva, coming off player of the week honors, was held to 11 points and two rebounds, almost nine points and more than five boards below his averages.
Jantunen scored five straight points in a 7-0 run that had Utah on top 16 3 1/2 minutes into the second half. Utah finished at 49% shooting, despite going 4 of 17 from 3-point range, and 25 of 30 from the foul line. The Utes also had a 37-26 rebounding advantage and 34-16 edge on inside points.
Stanford went 9 of 18 from 3-point range but just 8 of 30 inside the arc (29%).
Utah next hosts Cal on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at the Huntsman Center.