SEATTLE — For all intents and purposes, Washington’s defense was like the Twilight Zone for the Utah Utes Wednesday night. Things inexplicably disappeared as the Huskies prevailed 62-45 at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Utah’s offense vanished — failing to score a basket for nearly 16 minutes at one stretch — in a game where the Utes shot just 28 percent from the field. Senior guard Sedrick Barefield was the only player on the team to score in double figures. He finished with 12 points, making four 3-pointers in the first seven minutes.
The outburst helped Utah jump out to a 17-7 lead. By halftime, though, Washington had erased the deficit and taken a 33-27 advantage. The Huskies eventually pulled in front by 22 points.
“It’s tough. They were in a really extended zone and a lot of the best shots we took tonight were deep shots,” Barefield said. “They just did a real good job of making it hard on us.”
Utah’s first points in the second half came on free throws by Parker Van Dyke with 15:12 remaining. The first shot from the field was a 3-pointer by Both Gach with 8:50 to go.
The Utes trailed by 14 at the time and would draw no closer the rest of the way.
After crediting Washington for playing good defense, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said it was a variety of things that led to the end of a four-game winning streak the Utes had enjoyed in Pac-12 road games. He reeled off missed free throws, not finishing around the rim and turnovers.
“And that’s what happens,” Krystkowiak said. "You don’t score points I guess.”
Krystkowiak added that’s why Washington leads the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage defense.
“The zone is daunting and we didn’t step up and make plays we needed to,” he said.
Conference-leading Washington improved to 21-5 overall and 12-1 in Pac-12 play. Utah fell to 14-12 and 8-6.
The Utes entered the game with seven wins in their last eight conference road games dating back to last season. They were 5-1 this season with victories at Arizona State, Stanford, California, USC and UCLA.
Adding to the degree of difficulty at Washington was the loss of starting forward Timmy Allen. The freshman, who is averaging 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists, did not play because of back issues and is considered “day-to-day.” He had played in all 25 games this season, including 22 starts. Sophomore Donnie Tillman took his place in the opening lineup.43 comments on this story
The Utes return to action Saturday (6 p.m., P12N) at Washington State. The Cougars (11-15, 4-9) are coming off a 76-74 win over Colorado.
“We’ll obviously break down the film but our focus needs to be forward to Pullman on Saturday,” Krystkowiak said.
EXTRA STUFF: The attendance was 8,628. ... Utah athletics director Mark Harlan attended the game. ... Coaches and staffers from both teams wore purple ribbons in honor of the late Lauren McCluskey and to increase awareness of relationship violence. ... Washington outscored Utah 36-12 in the paint and held a 17-5 edge in points off turnovers.