SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – All of a sudden the once-surging Utah basketball team is in a sluimp.
Tres Tinle poured in31 points, while Kyler Kelley blocked six shots as Oregon State beat the Utes in the Huntsman Center, 81-72.
Utah has now lost two straight games and falls back to 11-10 on the year, 5-4 in the Pac12 Conference.
“It was two halves of energy,” said Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “We didn’t really follow the plan defensively. We gave up 46 points in the first half and had 10 turnovers, reared its head again, and you can’t beat teams.”
Freshman Timmy Allen scored a career-high 24 points for the Utes, while Sedrick Barefield added 19, but no other Utah player finished in double figures.
Ethan Thompson had 13 points and Kelley also 13 points to help the Beavers (14-7, 6-3 Pac-12) win their third game in the last four to stay near the top of the conference standings.
Tinkle, the conference’s leading scorer, made 10 of 15 shots, including three 3-pointers, and had six rebounds and four assists (and six turnovers).
“Tres Tinkle, I have known him since he was a little kid in diapers,” said Krystkowiak, who has been long-time friends with Tres’ father and Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle. “He stepped up with that three from about 28-30 feet away when the building was alive when we were down four at the time and that is a moment of truth time and I don’t know how we guard it much better. That’s an example of some senior leadership skill level and they beat us. They made plays when they needed to.”
Kelley, a seven-foot junior from Gervais, Ore., became Oregon State’s all-time single season leader in blocked shots in his first year in orange. Kelley passed Eric Moreland, who held the record with 73 in the 2012-13 campaign, with his third block of the game midway through the second half.
Allen, who rallied the Utes with his emotion and ability to get to the basket, made a twisting left-hand layup to cut the Beavers’ lead to 71-67 with 2:13 to play. The Beavers ran the clock down and gave the ball to Tinkle above the top of the arc. With two Utes watching him closely, Tinkle dribbled to his left, rose up and drained a 3-pointer with 1:43 remaining.
Barefield was determined to get one right back but Kelley rejected the Ute guard right when he looked like he had an opening to the basket. Tinkle blocked Riley Battin on a 3-point attempt moments later and made two free throws on the other end to clinch the victory.
Utah next plays at USC Wednesday night.