SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah basketball team tied a school record connecting on 17 three-pointers en route to a 98-63 non-conference home win against Mississippi Valley State (0-4) Thursday evening at the Huntsman Center.
The Utes had five players score in double-figures and were led by Parker Van Dyke’s 16 points off the bench. Timmy Allen tallied 13 points, while Donnie Tillman, Charles Jones and Riley Battin chipped in with 12 points each.
“I thought we shared the basketball really well, and we were pretty dialed in defensively, for about ninety percent of the game,” said head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “
Utah led 54-35 at break behind 10-point first-half-scoring from Tillman, Van Dyke and Battin. The Utes shot .556 (20-36) from the field overall, which included a shooting percentage of .533 (8-15) from three-point range. MVSU shot .438 in the half, but were outscored 22-6 in the paint, 10-5 on turnovers and 9-3 on second-chance points.
After trailing by as many as 13 points midway through the period, MVSU managed to climb its way back into the game and trailed by just seven points, down 37-30, with 5:08 left to play. Utah would limit the Delta Devils to just one field goal over the last five minutes of the half, while closing the period on a 17-5 run.
Allen opened the second half with a three-pointer and the Utes never looked back on the way to converting 17 three’s on 36 attempts (.472) to tie the school record, which was previously set against UNLV back on Jan. 12, 2002. It marks the third consecutive season that the Utes have notched at least 15 three-pointers in a game on the season.
“This team has been grinding the past couple of weeks and they could use a day off,” Krystkowiak said. “We will definitely give our guys some time to rest up. After that, we will get geared up for three big ball games in four days over Thanksgiving.”
The Utes will have the rest of the weekend off, but will be back in action next week with a holiday contest against Hawaii in the Wooden Legacy. Tip-off between the Utes and Rainbow Warriors is set for 9:30 p.m. in Fullerton, California.