The Utes beat an SEC opponent in the type of bullying fashion usually reserved for nonconference foes from lower-tier conferences in November or December.

Utah used its most dominating offensive performances of the season to smack LSU over the head early and often on the way to a 95-71 win in the second round of the NIT on Monday night in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Second-seeded Utah (21-11) advances to play Wednesday against top-seeded Saint Mary’s (30-5), an 85-81 winner over the Utes’ Pac-12 rival and fifth-seeded Washington late Monday night.

The Utes will travel to Moraga, Calif., for the quarterfinal game. The Gaels, of the West Coast Conference, are 18-1 at home this season.

Junior guard Sedrick Barefield scored a team-high 17 points and led five players who scored at least 12 points apiece as the Utes scored a season-high 95 points and shot 58 percent from the field. The senior quartet of Justin Bibbins (16 points), Gabe Bealer (13 points), Tyler Rawson (12 points) and David Collette (12 points) joined Barefield in double figures.

“That was really fun,” Barefield said. “That was up there, probably top two or three as far as fun and playing together.”

Along with a season high for points in a game, the Utes recorded their season bests for field goal percentage (57.9 percent) and 3-point shooting (51.9 percent) and tied the season high for made field goals (33). The Utes went 14 of 27 from 3-point range and six players made shots from long range, including Bibbins who went 4 of 7. Bealer went 3 of 4 from behind the arc after making 3 of 7 in the first-round win over UC Davis last week.

“I guess I was just feeling it,” said Bealer, who went 5-of-7 shooting overall. “I’ve got to give credit to my teammates. They were just finding me, and I’m just knocking down open shots.”

The Utes, still riding the hot hand they displayed in the second half of their NIT opener last week, overwhelmed the Tigers (18-15) in the opening minutes. The Utes made 9-of-10 baskets to start the game and built a 22-point lead after Bibbins’ 3-pointer to beat the shot clock buzzer rattled around and in to make the score 33-11 to start the second quarter.

In their tournament opener last week, the Utes came out in a fog, which prompted Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak to lose his temper and earn an ejection. They had no such problem to start on Monday night.

The Utes shot 63 percent from the floor and also outrebounded the Tigers by a margin of more than 2-to-1 (19 to 7). The Utes lead reached as many as 27 points, 45-18, following a Rawson layup while being fouled and falling to the floor with 4:08 left in the first half.

They took a 47-30 edge into halftime. They matched their highest-scoring first half of the season. They also scored 47 first-half points in wins against Utah State on Dec. 9, and against UCLA on Feb. 22.

Krystkowiak pointed to that stretch before the half as the lone thing that kept the night from being a “dang-near perfect performance.” The Utes got briefly out of character and individuals tried to do too much for a stretch which let the 27-point lead shrink to 17.

“We played really hard,” Krystkowiak said. “I think I kind of challenged our guys. From a rebounding point of view and an assist point of view there were a lot of things positive that happened. I just would’ve liked to have a more solid six-minute stretch to finish the half. Sometimes things come kind of easy and you forget why it was easy.”

The Utes lead reached the 30-point plateau on a Chris Seeley free throw with 5:07 remaining to make the score 88-58. They didn’t lead by fewer than 21 points in the fourth quarter.