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Timmy Allen scores 21 to lead Utah men’s basketball team to 60-45 win over Cal at the Huntsman Center

Utah forward Timmy Allen (1) celebrates after scoring against California during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Timmy Allen may be the University of Utah’s leading scorer, but it had been a while since the sophomore guard shot the ball well.

Allen was working on more than seven weeks since the last time he shot at least 50% from the floor. Saturday night, with the Utes looking for a Bay Area sweep vs. Cal, was as good a time as any for Allen to bust loose.

Allen scored 16 of his game-high 21 points after halftime, including 14 of the Utes’ final 20 to help them put away the Golden Bears, 60-45, before an announced crowd of 10,766 at the Huntsman Center.

The Utes (14-9, 5-6 Pac-12) completed their fifth consecutive home sweep of the Bay Area schools, and moved to 10-1 at the Huntsman Center on the season. Utah defeated Stanford in overtime on Thursday night, 64-56.

“Man, I’ve been missing shots I should make, and I still did today truthfully,” said Allen, who is now averaging 18.4 points on 43.8% shooting through 23 games. “It feels cool, but I got a lot more work to do. I’m just glad we got the W. That’s the only thing that matters, so we’ll just move on from here.”

“The type of shots I think are as important,” said Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak, who noted Allen is drawing more double teams around the rim against the Pac-12 teams. “When you look at some of those field-goal percentages when you’re trying to force shots over big bodies, it’s a low-percentage shot.

“We've got to continue to work on it, but it's a fine line, too, because he's super-capable of getting some buckets, as you witnessed.”

There were no long scoring droughts, which have marked recent games, but Allen’s offensive explosion came on a night when Utah’s offense as a whole was a bit of a mixed bag. The Utes shot 45.3% from the floor, above their season average, but just 27.8% from 3-point range, with Allen standing as the only Ute in double figures.

Utah’s defense, though, was constant. Nothing came easy for the Golden Bears (10-13, 4-6 Pac-12), who shot just 32% for the night and 28% from 3-point range. Their 16 field goals are a season-low this season for a Utah opponent.

Cal star sophomore Matt Bradley was added to the list of quality Pac-12 players Utah has effectively game-planned for. He finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, but shot just 5 for 13.

“We had a good week of practice, I thought we had a good game plan for both of the Bay Area schools, and I think we’ve made some good strides in our pick-and-roll coverage,” Krystkowiak said. “Our bigs did a really good job, I thought our guards were solid, too.

“We had very few breakdowns and 21 deflections in a game with some active hands. I thought we made strides as a team defensively.”

Both Gach missed his fourth consecutive game with what Krystkowiak has categorized as a knee injury. Like Thursday against Stanford, the sophomore wing did not warm up at all, instead emerging from the tunnel an hour before tip-off in street clothes.

With Utah playing at Oregon State on Thursday and Oregon on Sunday, Gach’s availability for that road trip is unknown.

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