The Runnin’ Utes picked up a much-needed win against the USC Trojans, 83-74, improving their overall record to 16-13, while their record in Pac-12 play has improved to 10-7.
Parker Van Dyke led the way, scoring 20 points while knocking down six of Utah’s 11 three-point shots. Timmy Allen had a great game himself, posting 19 points, while Sedrick Barefield had 17 points. Both Donnie Tillman and Both Gach had 10 points, and with those performances in total, Utah ended up having five players in double-digit figures overall.
Utah played great offensively throughout the game, shooting 52.5 percent overall from the field, which included 40.7 percent shooting from behind the arc. On the defensive end, Utah struggled to limit USC, as the Trojans shot 55.6 percent overall from the field, which included 41.2 percent shooting from downtown.
USC just had one lead in the first half, and that was earlier in the half when they were up 12-10. The Utes dominated the first half. Whether it was driving into the rim, or shooting from the perimeter, the Trojans were unable to stop the Utes’ firepower.
In the second half, both teams would go back-and-forth for the first few minutes, with both teams unable to expand on any lead. After the first few minutes, the Runnin’ Utes were able to go on a 16-2 run, which eventually extended their lead to double-digits. That run would ultimately prove to be big for the Utes, as the Trojans were unable to make a big enough comeback in the second half.
The Trojans were still able to make a small comeback later in the second half, decreasing the Utes’ lead to just seven points. The Utes struggled defensively, especially in the second half, and they allowed the Trojans to shoot 60.7 percent overall from the field. With USC’s Nick Rakocevic leading with 17 points and four assists, they were able to make the game somewhat interesting in the second half. Elijah Weaver also chipped in 17 points, shooting 7/10 from the field, while getting five assists.
With the Utes being 16-13 and winning their first game out of their two-game home-stand, it’s time for Utah to finish the season strong. With just one game remaining in the regular season, the Runnin’ Utes hope to take care of business in this last match-up.
The Pac-12 Tournament is less than a week away, and it’s essential for Utah to end their regular season on a winning streak. It gives them the best chance to perform well in the tournament, with their spirit and confidence high.
With this game in the books, the Runnin’ Utes will finish up their 2018-2019 regular season against the UCLA Bruins on Saturday, March 9, at 5 p.m. MT at the Huntsman Center. This match-up between the Utes and Bruins will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.