SALT LAKE CITY — Utah guard Sedrick Barefield hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open up the game against Colorado Sunday. It would be the beginning of a hot-shooting night for the Utes who claimed a 78-69 win over the Buffaloes.
Utah (9-8, 3-2) finished the day shooting 41 percent from the 3-point line and made nine 3-pointers in its win over the visiting Buffaloes (10-7, 1-4). Utah shot a blistering 62 percent from deep in the first half, making eight of the team’s nine 3-pointers.
Barefield led the team in scoring with 22 points, with 17 of those points coming in the first half on 6-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 shooting from deep.
Barefield cooled down in the second half as Timmy Allen took over in the second half. The freshman managed a double-double with 12 minutes still left in the game. Allen finished the night with a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes of play.
The Utes built up a big lead in the first half on a 15-2 run midway through the first half as the Buffaloes went cold for more than six minutes. The Utes added to it with another 13-2 run over another four-minute stretch as they went into the half with a 41-19 lead.
“It’s never going to be perfect but right up until the last four minutes of the first half it was really solid and we played with a tremendous kind of energy,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said.
Utah led by as much as 28 points in the game but allowed Colorado to close the margin, outscoring the Utes 50-37 in the second half. Utah, though, weathered the potential Colorado comeback and came away with the single-digit win.
“We had a heck of a lot of momentum and then a little bit of disrespect for the game,” Krystkowiak said. “And it’s really not disrespect, but we went to where we took five bad shots in a row, everyone was kind of testing the waters, we had three charges and we got away from what we did on defense to build us that lead. And then we came in at halftime and didn’t have that feeling that we should have.”
Sophomore Donnie Tillman was Utah’s third player to score in double figures on the night, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds. Colorado had four players in double figures Sunday and were led by Shane Gatling’s 21 points on 6-of-18 shooting, all of which came in the second half.
Utah will resume play Thursday in the first of a two-game road trip, starting with Stanford at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.