MVSU
UTAH

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Utah pulls away from Mississippi Valley State for 98-63 win

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Youth and inexperience led to inconsistency for Utah on both ends of the court in the team's first two games. Now the Utes seem to be turning a corner.

Utah built a sustained rhythm on offense and defense for the better part of 40 minutes in a 98-63 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Thursday night. It wasn't just about getting stops or knocking down shots. The Utes did plenty of both at every important juncture.

''Guys are really gaining confidence,'' sophomore forward Donnie Tillman said. ''Dudes are learning plays and learning where to be defensively. One thing I'm proud of is our communication. Everyone was talking tonight.''

Parker Van Dyke scored 16 points off the bench to lead Utah. Timmy Allen finished with 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Tillman tallied 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

The Utes (2-1) have won 11 straight regular season nonconference home games dating back to the 2016-17 season.

Dante Scott scored 16 points to lead the Delta Devils (0-4). Mississippi Valley State leading scorer Jordan Evans scored just two points after going 0 of 11 from the field. Evans averaged 19.0 points over his first three games.

Utah wasted no time putting Mississippi Valley State on its heels. Behind a 14-4 run, punctuated by back-to-back 3-pointers from Riley Battin and Van Dyke, the Utes carved out a 19-9 lead.

The Delta Devils cut the deficit in half on baskets from Michael Green and Aleska Koracin. They had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but Gregory Holloway missed an open layup. Vante Hendrix quickly answered by burying a transition 3-pointer on the other end. Tillman followed up with a long-distance basket of his own and then set up Van Dyke for a layup, pushing Utah's lead to 27-14.

Mississippi Valley State rallied a second time before halftime. The Delta Devils cut it to 37-30 on Emmanuel Ejeh's jumper. Utah scored baskets on six straight possessions as part of a 15-0 run. Battin and Van Dyke each contributed a pair of baskets to fuel the run. Once Van Dyke finished it off by driving for a layup, Utah led 52-30 with 1:21 remaining before halftime.

For Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, the decisive spurt all started with his players embracing a defensive attitude and not letting shooting percentages dictate their effort.

''It's really in the details of executing, sharing the ball, having your defensive (mindset),'' Krystkowiak said. ''Sometimes you want to make a big picture out of it and try to figure out what took place, but it's just about winning that next possession.''

The Utes shot 55.6 percent from the field in the first half - including 8 of 15 from 3-point range. Their hot shooting continued into the second half when they led by 20 points or more the entire way.

BIG PICTURE

Mississippi Valley State: For one half, the Delta Devils showed some tenacity and hung around with the Utes. Their inability to stop random quick spurts from the Utah offense finally caught up with them by halftime. Like other SWAC teams, plenty more tough games lie ahead before conference play.

Utah: The Utes worked some kinks out of their offense with an easy win over an overmatched opponent after struggling with long scoring droughts against Minnesota earlier in the week. Utah will need offensive production to stay consistent if it hopes to make a splash at the Wooden Legacy tournament over Thanksgiving weekend.

PERIMETER ATTACK

Utah tied a school record set in 2002 against UNLV by making 17 3-pointers. Reserve forward Brandon Morley helped the Utes match the record on the second of back-to-back 3-pointers with 2:13 left.

The Utes tried to break the record, but Brooks King misfired on a 3-point basket a minute later. It didn't sit well with Mississippi Valley State coach Andre Payne who stared down Krystkowiak in the final seconds. The Utah coach defended his decision, saying he wanted to give his end-of-the-bench players experience running the team's offense.

''It's no disrespect,'' Krystkowiak said. ''I explained myself to him. Those guys work too hard to get put in a game and have to come down and dribble it out.''

ROCKY ROAD

Like other SWAC teams, Mississippi Valley State counts on lengthy road trips to pay the bills. The Delta Devils opened the season with a five-game road swing and will close out nonconference play with another four-game road swing in December. They play 12 of their first 15 games on the road.

UP NEXT

Mississippi Valley State travels to Robert Morris on Saturday to conclude a five-game road trip.

Utah plays against Hawaii in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy on Thursday November, 22nd.

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Key Players
D. Scott
S. Barefield
30.5 Min. Per Game 30.5
16.0 Pts. Per Game 16.0
5.0 Ast. Per Game 5.0
2.0 Reb. Per Game 2.0
24.6 Field Goal % 31.6
35.3 Three Point % 23.5
82.6 Free Throw % 100.0
  Full timeout called 7.0
  Offensive rebound by Brandon Morley 7.0
  Beau Rydalch missed 3-pt. jump shot 9.0
  Defensive rebound by Beau Rydalch 25.0
  Zachary Barnes missed 3-pt. jump shot 27.0
  Defensive rebound by Gregory Holloway 39.0
  Beau Rydalch missed 2nd of 2 free throws 39.0
  Beau Rydalch missed 1st of 2 free throws 46.0
  Personal foul on Zachary Barnes 45.0
  Offensive rebound by Beau Rydalch 45.0
  Brooks King missed 3-pt. jump shot 47.0
Team Stats
Points 63 98
Field Goals 24-63 (38.1%) 35-68 (51.5%)
3-Pointers 6-17 (35.3%) 17-36 (47.2%)
Free Throws 9-14 (64.3%) 11-18 (61.1%)
Total Rebounds 33 44
Offensive 6 11
Defensive 22 30
Team 5 3
Assists 12 23
Steals 6 4
Blocks 3 5
Turnovers 12 10
Fouls 19 16
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
16 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Miss Valley St. 0-4 352863
home team logo Utah 2-1 544498
Team Stats
away team logo Miss Valley St. 0-4 64.3 PPG 40.4 RPG 11.3 APG
home team logo Utah 2-1 75.6 PPG 38.9 RPG 14.2 APG
Key Players
1
D. Scott F 13.5 PPG 5.2 RPG 1.8 APG 38.3 FG%
5
P. Van Dyke G 8.5 PPG 1.4 RPG 1.7 APG 43.1 FG%
Top Scorers
D. Scott F 18 PTS 5 REB 2 AST
P. Van Dyke G 16 PTS 3 REB 2 AST
38.1 FG% 51.5
35.3 3PT FG% 47.2
64.3 FT% 61.1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Scott 18 5 2 5/10 3/4 5/5 1 34 1 0 2 0 5
E. Ejeh 10 6 1 4/6 0/0 2/4 3 20 1 1 2 1 5
T. Eckwood 6 1 2 3/6 0/2 0/0 1 28 0 0 2 0 1
J. Evans 2 2 1 0/11 0/4 2/3 3 22 0 0 1 0 2
M. Mitchell 2 1 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 2 10 0 1 2 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Scott 18 5 2 5/10 3/4 5/5 1 34 1 0 2 0 5
E. Ejeh 10 6 1 4/6 0/0 2/4 3 20 1 1 2 1 5
T. Eckwood 6 1 2 3/6 0/2 0/0 1 28 0 0 2 0 1
J. Evans 2 2 1 0/11 0/4 2/3 3 22 0 0 1 0 2
M. Mitchell 2 1 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 2 10 0 1 2 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Green 10 3 2 4/9 2/3 0/0 1 23 3 1 1 0 3
A. Koracin 10 5 1 5/9 0/0 0/0 1 17 0 0 2 3 2
T. Simmons 5 0 2 2/5 1/1 0/0 0 19 0 0 0 0 0
L. Hunt 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 4 4 1 0 0 0 0
L. Allen 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 1 0
K. Allison 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/2 0 6 0 0 0 1 0
P. Rucker 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0
Z. Barnes 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
G. Holloway 0 3 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 3
M. Roberts - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Lucien - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Jones-Rollins - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 63 28 12 24/63 6/17 9/14 19 200 6 3 12 6 22
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Allen 13 6 3 4/11 1/1 4/5 3 22 0 0 1 2 4
D. Tillman 12 9 7 5/8 2/5 0/0 1 17 3 0 1 0 9
C. Jones Jr. 12 2 2 4/5 4/5 0/0 1 22 0 0 2 0 2
N. Topalovic 7 5 0 2/5 0/0 3/3 0 12 0 2 0 2 3
S. Barefield 4 0 4 2/9 0/4 0/0 0 25 0 0 0 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Allen 13 6 3 4/11 1/1 4/5 3 22 0 0 1 2 4
D. Tillman 12 9 7 5/8 2/5 0/0 1 17 3 0 1 0 9
C. Jones Jr. 12 2 2 4/5 4/5 0/0 1 22 0 0 2 0 2
N. Topalovic 7 5 0 2/5 0/0 3/3 0 12 0 2 0 2 3
S. Barefield 4 0 4 2/9 0/4 0/0 0 25 0 0 0 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Van Dyke 16 3 2 6/9 4/7 0/0 1 30 1 1 1 1 2
R. Battin 12 1 2 4/6 2/4 2/4 0 24 0 0 0 0 1
J. Johnson 8 6 0 4/4 0/0 0/0 4 11 0 1 0 2 4
B. Morley 7 3 1 2/2 2/2 1/2 2 12 0 0 1 3 0
V. Hendrix 6 1 2 2/6 2/6 0/0 2 15 0 0 2 0 1
M. Reininger 1 1 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 4 0 0 1 0 1
B. Rydalch 0 2 0 0/2 0/1 0/2 1 4 0 1 1 1 1
B. King 0 2 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
C. Popoola - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Gaskin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Thioune - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Kremer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Gach - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 98 41 23 35/68 17/36 11/18 16 200 4 5 10 11 30