Corvallis, Ore • The Utes unleashed a wave of 3-pointers in the first half, but they leaned on interior scoring after Oregon State rallied to take the lead in the second half to earn a conference road win.
Senior forward David Collette scored 10 of his 12 points after halftime, going 4-for-6 from the field in the second half to pace Utah to a 66-64 win over the Beavers on Sunday afternoon. Collette’s aggressive play in the post proved crucial as Utah went from making 10 first-half 3-pointers to one in the final 20 minutes.
“Everyone has got to be ready to go,” Collette said. “We’re not always going to be able to go inside. We’re not always going to be able to be knocking down threes like we did. We’ve had games in the past where we can’t knock down threes and we’ve got to go inside. Tonight we were able to hit the outside shot (early), so we kept going to it.”
One of the pivotal results of Collette attacking the basket in the second half was it forced Beavers big man Drew Eubanks to foul out. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Eubanks scored 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting in 16 minutes in the first half. He didn’t score in the second half, and played four minutes before fouling out with 6:41 remaining.
“That’s the goal, you know,” Collette said. “When you get in foul trouble, he’s got to be careful guarding. Just take it right to him. You know he’s going to be a little softer. That’s what we did.”
While sophomore center Jayce Johnson scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench, he also missed some scoring opportunities from close range. Collette, the team’s leading scorer during nonconference play (13.5 ppg.), has been the most consistent post presence for the Utes this season.
“We shared the ball, played the right way, made open shots,” said Utes senior guard Justin Bibbins of the team’s hot shooting in the first half. “That’s what we’ve been wanting to do, but we’ve still got to continue to play inside-out [and] feed our great bigs.”