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NIT win over LSU may have been the Utes' best game of the season

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s numbers were impressive in Monday night’s 95-71 trouncing of LSU. The Utes shot 57.9 percent (33 of 57) from the field and hit 14 of 27 attempts from 3-point range. All five starters scored in double-figures.

Overall, Utah had 10 players score and nine grab rebounds. The latter helped the Utes finish with a 37-26 advantage on the boards. They responded to head coach Larry Krystkowiak’s plea earlier in the week to “not have a season end because you didn’t do your best.”

When asked if the second-round win in the NIT was Utah’s “best” game of the season, junior guard Sedrick Barefield acknowledged that it might be.

“That was really fun. That was up there, probably top two or three games as far as just fun and playing together,” he said. “Yes, so you could say that.”

HOT HAND: Senior Gabe Bealer was 3 of 4 from behind the arc.

“I guess I was just feeling it,” he said. “I’ve got to give credit to my teammates. They’re just finding me and I’m just knocking down open shots.”

There were outside opportunities for others as well. Justin Bibbins (four), Barefield (three), Tyler Rawson (two), Kolbe Caldwell (one) and Parker van Dyke (one) also connected from behind the arc as Utah tallied a season-high in points.

MODERN TIMES: Although the coaches gathered to watch the game on television between Utah’s next opponent (Saint Mary’s and Washington) that tipped off shortly after things wrapped up in the Huntsman Center, the players were on their own.

“I know we want to see who we play next,” Barefield said. “So I’m sure that a lot of the guys are going to whip out their I-Pads or their TVs and try to watch and follow that game.”

No viewing party at someone’s house or anything like that was planned.

Barefield joked that “things are a little different now” because of technology.


Twitter: @DirkFacer