SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Parker Van Dyke is on an absolute tear right now, and the Utes basketball team is acsending up the Pac-12 standings.
After hitting a dramatic buzzer-beater to knock off UCLA on Saturday, Van Dyke hits 7 of 10 three-pointers on his way to a career high 23 points, as the Utes beat Arizona for just the second time in 16 tries since joining the Pac-12 Conference, 83-76.
Van Dyke scored 15 of his 23 points in the first half, making all five of his three-point attempts.
“A little magic came home with me I guess from Westwood,” Van Dyke said. “Really fun game, just great to get a win against Arizona, that was my first one here as a Ute. So, it was a great team win and let’s just keep it going.”
Jayce Johnson scored all of his career-high 17 points in the second half, making 8 of his 10 shots to go along with 10 rebounds.
“Jayce has been playing really well,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “I think Jayce is one rebound away from four straight double-doubles or four out of five double-doubles. I think some injuries has always been a little bit of an issue, so we’ve never really seen the best of him.”
The win was Utah’s second in 16 tries against Arizona since joining the Pac-12.
Sedrick Barefield had 15 points and six assists and Timmy Allen scored 14 for the Utes (14-10 overall, 8-4 Pac-12), who have won three in a row and are in sole possession of second place in the conference.
But the story of this victory was the offense of Van Dyke and Johnson, who both average seven points a game.
“Parker was on fire,” Barefield said. “And Jayce, I’m not surprised. He’s one of our hardest workers … and he just got it going. He just continues to get better and better.”
Johnson’s follow basket with 7:03 to play gave Utah a 66-51 lead. Utah’s center barely touched the ball on offense in the first half but dominated the paint in the second half, scoring all of his points.
“I was just playing hard and a lot of my points were off offensive rebounds and passes from Sedrick on my rolls,” said Johnson, who added 10 rebounds and marked the fifth straight game he has notched double figures on the boards.
Utah didn’t score during the first four minutes of the game, until just after Van Dyke checked into the game and hit a shot from the corner.
The Wildcats are 13-2 against Utah since Sean Miller became the head coach at Arizona. The Wildcats outlasted Utah 84-81 in overtime on Jan. 5. Ten of those contests have been decided by single digits.
“They’re hitting on all cylinders,” Miller said of Utah. “Often times, you judge the November and December by who you beat and what you did. Utah is one of those teams in college basketball that they’re better now than they were then.”
Utah next hosts Arizona State Saturday night at 8:00 p.m.