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SALT LAKE CITY — It was raining threes Saturday night in Pullman, Washington, as the top two teams in the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting put on a show.
Utah and Washington State combined for 28 made 3-pointers, including 18 in the first half, as the Utes pulled away for a 92-79 road victory. Both teams finished the night shooting 46 percent from deep, and Utah (15-12, 9-6) made 16 3-pointers in the game, falling one short of the school’s all-time single-game record.
Senior guard Sedrick Barefield took control of the game for the Utes, finishing with an impressive 33 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-10 from three. Barefield also hit eight of his 10 free throws in 40 minutes of playing time. It’s the second time this season that Barefield has scored 33 points and the first time in Pac-12 play.
Barefield’s impressive night was a first for a Utah player to score more than 30 points in a Pac-12 game.
Utah had four players in double figures, including three with multiple made 3-pointers. Parker Van Dyke, who finished with 17 points, three rebounds and three assists, added five 3-pointers of his own, and Donnie Tillman, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds, added four 3-pointers for the Utes.
Washington State (11-16, 4-10), which was led by senior forward Robert Franks’ 29 points and seven rebounds, jumped to an early 10-2 lead to start the game as Utah’s defensive effort lacked, leaving several opposing players open for easy buckets. In that time, Utah missed four-straight field goals and was forced to take a timeout before the game got out of hand.
The timeout was just the trick for the Utes.
Utah came out of the timeout and hit three quick 3-pointers, and the race was on in what turned out to be a 3-point contest for the remainder of the game. Utah would eventually go on a 14-2 run down the stretch to take a 7-point lead, erasing a once 9-point Washington State lead.
The Utes held off a late first-half run and managed a 2-point lead going into the break.
Utah would build on their lead out of the break, though, and outscored the Cougars 47-36 in the second half to claim a much-needed road win. With the win, Utah moves into sole possession of fourth place in the Pac-12 standings with two weeks to go before the conference tournament.
Coming into the game, Utah was again without freshman starter Timmy Allen, who is out with a sore back. It’s the second game in a row that Allen has been out. Tillman got the start in his place.
The Utes get a week off before resuming play Saturday, March 2 when they travel to Boulder, Colorado, to take on Denver in the team’s final road game of the season. The game will tip off at 4 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on ESPNU and ESPN 700.