Jones, Jantunen power Utah past Washington State 76-64
Rylan Jones scored 24 points and Mikael Jantunen added 16 off the bench to lead Utah to a 76-64 victory over Washington State
SALT LAKE CITY —
Rylan Jones scored 24 points and Mikael Jantunen added 16 off the bench to lead Utah to a 76-64 victory over Washington State on Saturday.
Branden Carlson added 12 points and Timmy Allen chipped in 11 for the Utes. Utah shot 63% from the field to win its 12th straight game in the series with Washington State. The Utes have not lost to the Cougars in Salt Lake City since 1946.
Isaac Bonton scored 21 points to lead Washington State. The Cougars shot 46% from the field, but allowed Utah to score 19 points off 13 turnovers.
The Cougars opened up the first half by making six of their first seven shots and sprinted out to a 15-6 lead. Bonton and Jervae Robinson each scored a pair of baskets to fuel the surge. On the other end, Washington State forced Utah to commit seven turnovers over the first 8 ½ minutes.
Once the Utes got things figured out on offense, it did not take long for them to take control of the game. Utah ended the first half on an 18-2 run and took a 37-25 lead into the locker room.
Allen converted a 3-point play to give the Utes their first lead at 24-23 with 4:26 remaining in the first half. Carlson and Jantunen then combined to score Utah’s final 13 points of the half. Each player made a pair of baskets over the final three minutes of the half.
Washington State heated up from the perimeter early in the second half, making four 3-pointers over the first six minutes. Bonton made the final one in that stretch to help the Cougars regain a 43-42 lead.
Utah surged back in front behind back-to-back layups from Jantunen and Both Gach. It sparked a 9-0 run that put the Utes back up 51-43 with 11:12 remaining.
Jones kept the Cougars from closing the gap again. He scored four straight baskets and set up another to extend Utah’s lead to 71-60 with 3:35 to go.
THE BIG PICTURE
Washington State: The Cougars camped out on the perimeter offensively and it proved costly when those outside shots didn’t fall. Washington State did not attempt its first free throw until 4:40 remained in the second half.
Utah: Once again, the Utes found a winning formula from attacking the rim and cleaning the glass. Utah dominated around the basket and it helped the Utes recover from a sluggish start.
Washington State: The Cougars host Arizona State on Wednesday.
Utah: The Utes travels to Los Angeles to face USC on Thursday.
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