Both Gach scored a career-high 28 points, including three go-ahead free throws with 0.6 seconds left, to lift Utah to a 74-72 overtime victory over Colorado in Pac-12 play at Salt Lake City on Saturday.
Alfonso Plummer added 19 points and Timmy Allen chipped in 10 for the Utes. Utah (16-14, 7-11 Pac-12) snapped a three-game losing streak.
McKinley Wright IV scored 20 points and totaled six rebounds and six assists to lead the Buffaloes. Tyler Bey scored 16 points and collected 10 rebounds and Evan Battey added 15 points.
Colorado (21-10, 10-8) sustained its fourth straight loss.
Utah erased an eight-point deficit early in the second half behind a pair of 7-0 runs. Allen capped the second run with a go-ahead layup to give the Utes their first lead at 47-46.
Colorado countered with its own 7-0 run to go back in front. Battey and Daniels combined for back-to-back baskets to punctuate the spurt and put the Buffaloes up 53-47.
Utah had one more rally left. The Utes surged ahead 60-59 on Plummer’s fifth 3-pointer of the contest. Bey immediately answered the basket with a go-ahead jumper of his own. He then converted a 3-point play with 19.6 seconds left in regulation to put the Buffaloes up 64-62.
Gach hit a jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining to force overtime.
Wright capped an 8-2 run for Colorado by driving for a go-ahead layup that put the Buffaloes up 72-70 with 31 seconds left in overtime. Gach later converted three free throws after being fouled on a last-second shot to secure the win for Utah.
Freshman point guard Rylan Jones did not play for Utah. Jones was still in concussion protocol after getting injured in a road loss to California a week earlier. Without their starting point guard at the controls, the Utes looked completely lost on offense for a large chunk of the first half.
Colorado took advantage of Utah’s struggles early. The Buffaloes attacked the paint and made things tough defensively for the Utes.
The Buffaloes twice built up a double-digit lead before halftime and led 23-13 midway through the first half after Maddox Daniels buried a 3-pointer.
Gach kept the Utes within striking distance. He attacked inside and outside to total 16-first half points. Utah pulled within three points on two different occasions after a basket from the sophomore. His second one, a driving layup, cut Colorado’s lead to 36-33.
The Buffaloes did not let the Utes overtake them before halftime. Wright turned a steal into a layup and Daniels followed with a corner 3-pointer to put the Buffaloes up 41-33 going into the locker room.
—Field Level Media