Branden Carlson's career night helps Utah snap three-game slide in win over Washington State
Branden Carlson put in a career-best shift for the Runnin’ Utes Thursday night to help Utah snap Washington State’s three-game winning streak and move to 9-2 inside Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Utah, which had lost three straight coming into the matchup, held Wazzu to 34% shooting from the floor while connecting on 55% of its own attempts at the other end. Gabe Madsen hit four of Utah’s nine triples on the evening to finish with 12 points, but it was Carlson who really led the way offensively for Utah in a 77-63 victory.
The 7-foot senior center had a career-high 28 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. He only missed one shot attempt all evening, going 11-for-12 from the field and 3-for-4 from beyond the 3-point line.
Carlson was immediately assertive, scoring 21 points in the first half to help the Utes build up a 39-31 lead going into the locker room.
Twice in the first half Utah stretched its lead out to 10 points. A 12-2 run from Washington State tied the game at 29-all with 2:54 to play in the opening half.
In the span of about a minute and a half, Carlson supplied a personal 10-0 run to push his side back out in front.
BRANDEN CARLSON IS DOING THE MOST! 😤
Carlson has 21 points, is 8-8 from the field, 3-3 behind the arc, and 2-2 from the line.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 20, 2023
Washington State threatened for a moment in the second half, at one point pushing to get within five points with 9:27 to play in the game. A jumper from Mouhamed Gueye — who finished with a team-leading 20 points — capped an 11-2 run to make it 53-48.
Utah once again had an answer. A quick 7-0 surge pushed the lead back to 12 and the Cougs never got closer than six the rest of the way.
It’s a major win for Utah, which jumped out to a 10-2 mark early in the season. Losses in five of the last eight games, however, had things feeling tense. The Runnin’ Utes (13-7, 6-3 Pac-12) will host Washington on Saturday looking to build on the momentum generated Thursday night.
The Cougs will hope to get guard TJ Bamba back from injury. He’s missed the last three games, and WSU really missed him Thursday night. Washington State (9-11, 4-5 Pac-12) will head to Colorado for a Sunday tilt.