Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak acknowledges he doesn’t have NBA-ready players on the roster, but knows his team can be successful when everyone contributes. The Utes got exactly that Sunday night and are now back to .500 in Pac-12 play after a rough first half of January.
Tyler Rawson scored 22 points and knocked down a career-high six 3-pointers as Utah beat Washington State 82-69.
The Utes (12-7, 4-4) won their second consecutive game for the first time since late December and the Cougars (9-10, 1-6) have now lost 6 of 7.
I thought there were several defensive breakdowns, Washington State coach Ernie Kent said. We tried to do a couple of different things to offset that, but our focus and attention to detail on that end of the floor was not there tonight and they made us pay.
Everything, to me, came back to what went on at the defensive end of the floor. When we can get stops and get out and run, we’re very good. When we don’t, we become a stagnant offensive team.
UNC Asheville (12-9, 5-3 Big South) made 11 of 15 3-pointers in the first half and cruised.
UNC Asheville doubled Liberty, 36-18, through the first 13 minutes with 12 points from Thomas and Vannatta’s 10. The Bulldogs led 51-30 at halftime after having 14 assists on 16 field goals and shooting 67 percent overall. Vannatta tied a career-high with five 3-pointers and scored 19 points. The Flames were just 1 of 10 from distance and shot 35.5 percent.
Raekwon Miller added 12 points and Macio Teague scored 11 with three 3-pointers for the Bulldogs, who have won four of their last five.
Scottie James had 19 points for Liberty (12-9, 3-5).