Utah looks to ride campus-wide momentum in meeting vs. Washington St.
Thursday’s 81-66 upset of No. 4 Arizona might have been a sign that it was going to be a good weekend in Salt Lake City for Utah Utes sports fans.
The next night, Utah’s football team upset another No. 4, USC, for the Pac-12 championship. Now the Utes hope for a 2-0 start to the conference basketball season when they take on Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Sunday afternoon.
Utah (6-2, 1-0 Pac-12) put an end to a seven-game losing streak against teams ranked in the Top 25 with the win over the Wildcats.
Center Branden Carlson’s 22 points led the way for Utah.
“‘BC’ just had a great look in his eyes …. I mean, he just had a look, like you would expect out of an all-league guy, in a fourth-year guy,” Utah head coach Craig Smith said.
Washington State (3-3, 0-1) opened the Pac-12 season with a 74-60 loss at Oregon on Thursday night. The Cougars have won the last two meetings between the two programs but are 6-27 all-time against Utah.
The Cougars have made 42.1 percent of their 3-point attempts this season, but made just 3 of 14 against Oregon. TJ Bamba’s 15.7 points per game leads Washington State.
Against Oregon, the Cougars got 19 points from Mouhamed Gueye. Washington State was missing one of its best shooters, Jabe Mullins, due to a knee injury.
Lack of size against the Ducks was also an issue for Washington State.
“We were obviously a little short-handed and had some freshmen in roles coming off the bench for their first Pac-12 game on the road, probably weren’t ready for that,” Cougars head coach Kyle Smith said. “Hopefully we’ll get better but generally pleased with the first 26 minutes. But on the road you can’t turn the ball over and we kind of broke when that happened.”
–Field Level Media