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3 keys to Utah’s impressive 86-61 home win over Washington

Rollie Worster almost had a triple-double, registering 11 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, as Utah improved to 7-3 in Pac-12 play

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Utah center Branden Carlson drives down the court during a NCAA college basketball game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

Ryan Sun, Deseret News

This current batch of Utah Runnin’ Utes showed former players that they may have what it takes to return the program to its past days of glory, walloping Washington 86-61 Saturday on Alumni Night at the Huntsman Center.

Two nights after registering a career-high 28 points in a blowout of Washington State, Utes center Branden Carlson had 25 points and eight rebounds Saturday as Utah improved to 7-3 in Pac-12 play, 14-7 overall.

Washington fell to 4-6 and 12-9.

Rollie Worster came within a rebound of a triple-double, posting 11 points, 10 assists and nine boards. The junior had a shot at a 10th rebound in the final minute, but it went to Marco Anthony instead. 

Anthony had a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.

Here are 3 keys to Utah’s home win:

• Utah stayed hot shooting the ball, and led wire-to-wire against a Huskies team that was coming off an upset of Colorado on Thursday and had won three straight games. Utah finished shooting 51% from the floor.

• The Utes carved up Washington’s famed zone defense, forcing the Huskies to abandon that style and play more man-to-man defense. Utes guard Gabe Madsen found his shooting stroke after a couple of rough outings, and finished with 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting.

• Utah turned up the defense after a slow start, and held the Huskies to 35% shooting; Keion Brooks Jr. led Washington with 17 points, but needed 19 shots to get there.