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Deseret News
Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen (20) dives in an attempt to regain control of a loose ball during the second half against the Washington State Cougars at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah had an excellent shooting night in an 88-70 victory over Washington State Saturday night. The team made 33 of 60 total shots to register 55 percent from the field. Nine of those makes came from behind the arc, where the Runnin’ Utes shot nearly 40 percent (37.5).

Leading the way in efficiency was Both Gach. The freshman scored 14 points, second most on the team, on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, including a 2 of 3 mark from deep. Charles Jones, meanwhile, finished with 11 points and was the team’s best outside shooter, having connected on 3 of 4 three point attempts.

The team’s shooting success was attributed to its defensive performance, however.

“It started on the defensive end, honestly,” freshman Timmy Allen said. “We were locked in, especially in the first half, and were able to get out in transition. That kind of carried on into the second half.

“I think there is always some sort of correlation,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak added. “Tonight, we set our minds and did a good job defensively... without a doubt.”

WINNING WAYS: With the victory over Washington State, Utah’s dominance in the series continues. The Runnin’ Utes have now won 24 of the 28 games played between the schools all-time, including 17 of 18 in the Huntsman.

The Utes have now won 10 consecutive games against the Cougars, their last defeat coming in January of 2014. Utah is also 11-2 overall against Washington State since joining the Pac-12.

HOMECOMING: Saturday night’s game marked a homecoming of sorts for Washington State junior Jeff Pollard.

The 6-foot-9 forward prepped at Bountiful High School, where he helped the Braves to consecutive state championships (2013 and ‘14).

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The first of those titles came on the floor at the Huntsman Center, while Pollard played a particularly instrumental role in the team’s second title with a game-high 22 points to lead the Braves to victory over the Kearns Cougars.

He came into Saturday night’s contest fresh off his best performance this season, a 12-point, three-rebound effort in Washington State’s 92-60 loss to Colorado.

The positive momentum didn’t continue for the big man, however, although he did have the most productive outing of his career when facing the Utes.

Pollard finished the game with four points and two rebounds.