SEATTLE (AP) — David Collette picked up the offensive pace in the second half and his Utah teammates followed suit.
Collette scored 16 of his 22 points after the break and Tyler Rawson added 15 points as Utah overcame a sluggish first half to rally for a 70-58 victory over Washington in a Pac-12 Conference game on Thursday night.
Utah (16-9, 8-6) erased a 32-24 halftime deficit with a 21-6 surge after intermission. Rawson’s jumper from the lane capped a 12-0 run that put the Utes up 45-38 with 12:10 remaining.
Utah, which shot just 27 percent in the first half, made 11 of its first 15 shots after the break to push the lead to 51-40.
“In the first four minutes of the second half, we narrowed the gap from eight and tied it up and got a little momentum,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak.
David Crisp had 18 points but was the only player in double figures for the Huskies (17-9, 7-6). Washington has lost three consecutive games for the first time this season.
Forward Noah Dickerson, the Huskies second leading scorer at 15.6 points per game and top rebounder with 8.8, finished with just three points on 1 of 6 shooting and six rebounds before fouling out with 3:25 remaining.
“They executed down the stretch when we didn’t,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “It’s one of those things, you know you have an eight-point lead and it disappears in how long? You’re watching it and you know you’re trying to pick up the pieces and trying to regroup. You’re trying to put different guys in, you’re looking for energy. ”
Sedrick Barefield, Justin Bibbins and Parker Van Dyke each added 10 points for Utah, which extended its winning streak against Washington to six. Rawson also had 11 rebounds to help Utah to a 36-26 advantage on the boards.
The Utes shot 70 percent in the second half, making 14 of 20 field goal attempts, including 4 of 6 three-pointers. Collette was 6 for 7 in the second half.
“It’s a defensive game. You let good shooters get open shots, they’re going to knock them down eventually,” Hopkins said. “We didn’t cover it well. There’s got to be more fight, more energy. It’s got to be a 40-minute game, it can’t be a 20-minute game.”
Washington closed the first half with a 10-0 run for a 32-24 lead. The Utes missed their final eight shots of the half, failing to score after a free throw with 3:15 left. Utah was just 9 of 33 in the first half, including 3 of 16 beyond the arc.
“If shots don’t go in, a bunch of teams starting changing their identity and try to figure out new ways to score,” Krystkowiak said. “As long as you’re getting good shots, and I thought we had a good zone attack, we were going to stay with it . Sometimes you panic and we just stayed with it and kept trusting each other and some shots went in.”
Washington: The Huskies hopes for an NCAA tournament berth may hinge on their final four games — on the road at Stanford and California, then home against Oregon State and Oregon. The Huskies lost earlier to three of those teams, defeating California.
Utah: After their two games this week in Washington, the Utes close out the regular season with three games at home, where they are 10-2, losing only to Arizona and Arizona State.
UTAH’S TOURNAMENT HOPES
“We’re kind of on the outside looking in at a lot of these tournament discussions,” Krystkowiak said. “The message to our team is there are rare times in life that you’re presented an opportunity to do something special. And, we’re kind of at that precipice right now. You’ve got to come into a road game against a team that’s penciled into the NCAA Tournament in Washington, playing really well. It’s not time for a lot of talk, it’s time for action.”
THOMAS JERSEY RETIREMENT
Former Washington standout Isaiah Thomas, now with the Los Angeles Lakers, will have his No. 2 jersey retired Saturday during the Huskies game against Colorado. Thomas becomes the third Washington player to have his jersey retired, joining Bob Houbregs (No. 25) and Brandon Roy (No. 3).
Washington hosts Colorado on Saturday.
Utah is at Washington State on Saturday.
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