SALT LAKE CITY
– The Utah Runnin' Utes (2-1) tied a school record connecting on 17 three-pointers en route to a 98-63 non-conference home win against Mississippi Valley State (0-4) Thursday evening at the Huntsman Center.
The Utes had five players score in double-figures and were led by Parker Van Dyke's
16 points off the bench. Timmy Allen
tallied 13 points, while Donnie Tillman
, Charles Jones
and Riley Battin
chipped in with 12 points each.
Utah led 54-35 at break behind 10-point first half scoring from Tillman, Van Dyke and Battin. The Utes shot .556 (20-36) from the field overall, which included a shooting percentage of .533 (8-15) from three-point range. MVSU shot .438 in the half, but were outscored 22-6 in the paint, 10-5 on turnovers and 9-3 on second-chance points.
After trailing by as many as 13 points midway through the period, MVSU managed to climb its way back into the game and trailed by just seven points, down 37-30, with 5:08 left to play. Utah would limit the Delta Devils to just one field goal over the last five minutes of the half, while closing the half on a 17-5 run.
Allen opened the second half with a three-pointer and the Utes never looked back on the way to converting 17 three's on 36 attempts (.472) to tie the school record, which was previously set against UNLV back on Jan. 12, 2002. It marks the third consecutive season that the Utes have notched at least 15 three-pointers in a game on the season.
The Utes will have the rest of the weekend off, but will be back in action next week with a holiday contest against Hawaii in the Wooden Legacy. Tip-off between the Utes and Rainbow Warriors is set for 8:30 p.m. PT at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif.
• With the win, Coach Krystkowiak moved to 140-98 as the head coach of the Utes. He is 182-118 in his coaching career overall.
• Utah moved to 2-0 all-time when playing MSVU. The Utes are now 5-0 all-time when facing teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
• The Utes have won five consecutive home games dating back to last season (including NIT postseason play). Not including postseason play, the Utes have won 11 straight home games against non-conference opponents.
• Donnie Tillman
notched a game-high nine rebounds and registered a new career-high with seven assists.
• Charles Jones
and Riley Battin
both recorded season-highs as both scored 12 points each.
• Parker Van Dyke's
16 points is a new season-high and was just two points shy from tying his previous career-high (18).
• Utah assisted on 24 of its 36 made buckets on the evening. It marks the most assists in a game since dishing out 24 assists against California back on Feb. 10, 2017, last season.
• Utah shot a season-best .515 from the field.
Utah vs. Mississippi Valley State | November 15, 2018
Utah Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak
Thoughts on the game tonight…
"I thought we shared the basketball really well, and we were pretty dialed in defensively, for about ninety percent of the game. They spread us out a little bit and drove on us, especially towards the end of the first half, I wasn't pleased. When that happened, I went with a smaller lineup and we were able to go on a little bit of a run to end the first half. This team has been grinding the past couple of weeks and they could use a day off, we will definitely give our guys some time to rest up. After that, we will get geared up for three big ball games in four days over Thanksgiving."
On the turning point in the first-half…
"If you look at our Minnesota game, when we get dialed in and square the ball, we can get a stop. In order to build a lead, you need to be able to stop and score, those can be four-point swings. I think that it's really in the details of execution and sharing the ball, and winning the next possession. That reared its head in Minnesota, we had some negative runs. We have to have an attitude and an identity that is defensive minded, we shouldn't care if shots go in or not to get that extra defensive boost. We've got some young guys, which are the guys that are still trying to figure that out. I thought having the small lineup on the floor was one of the keys of the game, we spread them out a little bit. Riley gave us double-figures in the first half, while he was playing the five and was able to stretch the floor. I think that we are going to be okay if we actually guard, that's really the whole answer to the question."