Collette, Utah swamp Eastern Washington
David Collette scored a season-high 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting to help Utah coast to an 85-69 victory over Eastern Washington on Friday in Salt Lake City.
Sedrick Barefield added 12 points for the Utes. Utah (5-1) has not lost to a Big Sky opponent since the 2012-13 season.
Bogdan Bliznyuk scored 17 points and Jacob Davison chipped in 15 to lead the Eagles. Eastern Washington (3-4) is playing 10 straight road games to open the season. The Eagles will play at home for the first time when they host Cal State Northridge on December 17.
The Utes used a pair of big first-half runs to put Eastern Washington away early.
The Eagles initially carved out a 4-2 lead on a jumper from Bliznyuk and tied it at 11-11 after Bliznyuk made a pair of free throws. Utah then held Eastern Washington scoreless for a 3 1/2-minute stretch to open up its first double-digit lead.
Donnie Tillman capped off a 12-2 run with a three-point play and the Utes sprinted ahead 23-13.
Utah struck again later in the half when it scored on six straight possessions and extended its lead to 37-17. Collette got things going for the Utes with a pair of free throws and back-to-back baskets. Parker Van Dyke also slashed to the rim for a layup, with a pair of 3-pointers from Tyler Rawson sandwiched around his basket.
Collette eclipsed his previous season high of 17 points before halftime. The senior forward totaled 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the first half.
Utah stayed firmly in control after halftime. The Utes led by as many as 33 points, going ahead 67-34 on a 3-pointer from Justin Bibbins with 14:07 left in the game.