SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah basketball team was down 22 points with under 13 minutes left Saturday against UCLA. All signs pointed to a Utes loss, but head coach Larry Krystkowiak told the ref he had a premonition.
“I said, ‘Don’t quit working because you might think this is over because this is going to be on SportsCenter.'” Krystkowiak said. “If he were here right now, I’d be curious to see, he must be laughing.”
The Bruins weren’t laughing as the Utes scored 48 points in the final 12-plus minutes. Down by two in the final seconds, Sederick Barefield left it for Parker Van Dyke, who had played this moment in his mind his whole life.
“I think everyone has that, you know, they’re in the driveway, and in their mind, they’re counting down 5…4…3…2…1…and shoot it,” Van Dyke said.
Van Dyke shot it from about 27 feet out, and drained it at the buzzer to give Utah an incredible 93-92 comeback win over the Bruins.
“When it went in, my first initial thought was, wow, I can’t believe I made it. Then, how did we just come back and win? And then I probably thought after that, maybe I should retire after this. Like, go out on a high note because I don’t think it will get any better. But I turned and saw Sedrick, and we were both just like, ‘whoa.’ I can’t believe this just happened. It was just an incredible comeback that none of us will ever forget.”
Needless to say, Van Dyke’s phone blew up especially when he was the top play on ESPN SportsCenter.
“Saturday after the game and Sunday, those were some surreal hours for me,” said Van Dyke, who made five three-pointers for his 15 points, all in the second half. “People I hadn’t heard from in a long time. My elementary school principal, who I haven’t heard from in forever, reached out to me.”
Incredibly, Van Dyke’s shot gave Utah it’s only lead of the game, meaning UCLA actually led for 40 minutes, and lost.
“I don’t know if anyone has ever done that,” Van Dyke said. “UCLA led for 40 minutes and lost. That’s just incredible. You can’t describe it.”
This shot was redemption for the former East High star, who missed a potential game-winner at Arizona last month.
“I’m happy I had another opportunity,” he said. “We had talked after I missed the one against Arizona, we had talked about hitting the next shot.
Van Dyke also hit a couple of big three-pointers to knock off UCLA last season, and is looking forward to getting another chance to play the Bruins.
“UCLA is my senior night, my last game in the Huntsman Center,” he said. “So hopefully I’ve got enough magic in me for one more.”
Krystkowiak hopes that his entire team learned a valuable lesson to never lose hope, no matter how dire things may appear.
“One of the seven words in our program is to believe,” Krystkowiak said. “I don’t think you can accomplish a whole lot if you don’t have faith and believe that you can pull it off.”
The Utes (13-10, 7-4 Pac-12) next host Arizona Thurday night at 7:00 p.m.