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Gabe Madsen’s big second half sparks Utah past Washington State


Gabe Madsen scored all 20 of his points in the second half to lead Utah to an 80-58 victory over Washington State on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

Branden Carlson tallied 19 points and eight rebounds for the Utes. Keba Keita added 18 points and 11 boards. Rollie Worster chipped in 11 points and seven assists. Utah (10-2, 1-0 Pac-12) shot 60 percent from the field in the second half – 15 of 25, which included going 7 of 11 from 3-point range.

Issac Jones led Washington State with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylen Wells added 10 points for the Cougars. Washington State (9-3, 0-1) lost its first true road game of the season after giving up 20 points off 13 turnovers.

Madsen’s sizzling shooting broke open a close game. He went 6 of 9 from the field after halftime, with the last four baskets coming from beyond the arc. His final two outside baskets helped ignite a decisive 20-5 run that put Utah up 63-49.

The Utes sealed the win behind a 14-2 run ignited by Carlson’s back-to-back threes over the game’s final five minutes.

Washington State missed its first six shots from the field before Wells finally broke the ice with a 3-pointer with 14:51 left in the first half.

Utah imposed its will on defense throughout much of the first half while taking care of the ball. The Utes committed only three turnovers over the first 20 minutes. On the other end, Utah forced seven turnovers before halftime and scored 10 points off those takeaways. One such turnover — a steal and dunk by Deivon Smith — sparked a string of four consecutive baskets that gave the Utes a 22-12 lead.

The Cougars made a 13-2 run to erase the deficit before halftime. Jones capped the run with a dunk that gave Washington State its first lead at 25-24.

Utah mirrored Washington State’s earlier slow start coming out of halftime. The Utes made two baskets over the first five minutes of the second half. It opened the door for the Cougars to carve out a 40-34 lead behind a 7-0 run. Jones punctuated the run with a fast-break dunk.

–Field Level Media

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