SALT LAKE CITY — It proved to be a Concordia kind of night for the Utah Utes. In Saturday’s 88-70 win over Washington State, Utah had six players score in double figures — something that had not happened since a 43-point victory over the Concordia Cavaliers, a Division II program from Portland, Oregon, on Nov. 15, 2016.
“There’s going to be some nights where the ball’s not falling,” said freshman Both Gach. “So you pretty much just got to be in the gym, get your shots up.” After shooting better than 52 percent on a road trip to Arizona State and Arizona, Utah made just 41.5 percent of its shots against Washington’s zone in a 69-53 loss on Thursday. The Utes bounced back to make 55 percent (33 of 60) in topping the Cougars.
Timmy Allen and Gach led the team in scoring with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Riley Battin and Charles Jones Jr. finished with 11 apiece, while Sedric Barefield and Parker Van Dyke rounded out Utah’s double-digit scorers with 10 each.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak noted the importance of balance, especially as the Utes developed a willingness to make an extra pass and share the basketball.
As a result, he said, it becomes contagious and allows an opportunity to set up the defense.
“The extra pass stuff has been good and our assists have been really good,” Krystkowiak said.
Utah had 20 assists on Saturday. Barefield finished with a game-high seven.
The win over Washington State snapped a two-game skid by the Utes. They’re back at .500, checking in at 8-8 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play.
“For us, losing one and winning one is kind of getting old for us,” Gach said. “So we’re like trying to find our streak and find our mojo to get going.”
Utah returns to action Sunday (4 p.m., ESPNU) at home against Colorado. The Buffaloes (10-6, 1-3) dropped a 77-70 decision at Washington late Saturday.
VAN DYKE’S DUNK: Utah guard Parker Van Dyke threw down a two-handed dunk after making a steal in Saturday’s win over Washington State. The 6-foot-3 guard from East High showed some hops.
Krystkowiak joked that he couldn’t believe it.Comment on this story
“I think he had some kind of flubber in his sneakers because I haven’t seen him dunk very often,” Krystkowiak said. “And I don’t know that I’ve ever seen him dunk off of two feet in transition. So it was some kind of special power in his Under Armour sneakers.”
Van Dyke said he’s a “two-foot jumper” and has dunked that way in high school and stuff, but never while playing for the Utes.
“I got the steal and my feet just felt right,” Van Dyke said. “I got my feet under me, my momentum was going and so I thought to myself: ‘You know, it’s senior year, I might as well go up and try to throw one down.’ So it felt really good and it was cool to see my teammates’ reactions to it. So it was just a lot of fun.”