Branden Carlson scored a career-high 28 points and collected eight rebounds to lead Utah to a 77-63 victory over Washington State in Salt Lake City on Thursday night.
Carlson made his first nine shots and shot 11 of 12 overall. Rollie Worster added 14 points and seven assists for the Utes. Gabe Madsen chipped in 12 points.
Utah outscored Washington State 42-22 in the paint and scored 17 points off turnovers. The Utes (13-7, 6-3 Pac-12) snapped a three-game losing streak and swept the season series.
Mouhamed Gueye led Washington State with 20 points and seven rebounds. Jabe Mullins chipped in 11 points and Justin Powell added 10.
Washington State shot just 34.4 percent and didn’t score a field goal over the final 4 1/2 minutes.
The Cougars (9-11, 4-5) had won three straight games before Thursday.
Carlson gave Utah’s offense a much-needed jolt in the first half. He went 8 of 8 before halftime — totaling 21 points. His efficiency helped the Utes shoot 57 percent during the first half and generate 22 points in the paint.
Utah built up a 27-17 lead before Washington State rallied and erased the deficit late in the first half. Mullins made back-to-back baskets to spark a 12-2 run that tied the game at 29-29.
Carlson countered by fueling a 10-0 run by himself. He knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to prevent the Cougars from taking their first lead. Then Carlson threw down a dunk to cap the spurt, giving Utah a 39-29 lead.
The Utes extended their lead to 49-35 early in the second half, on back-to-back baskets from Worster and Madsen.
Washington State cut the deficit to 64-58 on a layup from Powell before Utah pulled away for good. Lazar Stefanovic scored a pair of baskets to spark an 11-1 run that extended the Utes’ lead to 75-59 with 1:07 left.
–Field Level Media