CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Timmy Allen scored 19 points and Utah beat Ohio 80-66 on Friday night in a Myrtle Beach Invitational consolation game.
Both Gach had 18 points and Rylan Jones finished with 17 points to help the Utes (4-1) bounce back from a loss to Coastal Carolina in the quarterfinals. They shot 49%, led by 21 and turned 14 turnovers into 26 points.
“It was ugly last night,” coach Larry Krystkowiak said of the Coastal Carolina loss. “We broke down the film and we were deficient in a lot of different areas. I thought we bounced back really well. We came out with a great focus, we played hard and we shared the basketball.”
Utah missed 11 of its final 12 shots and did not make a field goal in the final 5 minutes — but made up for that by making 27 of 28 free throws, including 13 of 14 down the stretch. Only Riley Battin’s miss with 29 seconds remaining — on the team’s final attempt — kept the Utes from being perfect at the line.
“They’re called free for a reason and often times they get overlooked,” Krystkowiak said. “It’s not the fact that you make most of them, it’s the one-and-ones. Those little things add up and 27 points is remarkable for our guys.”
Jason Preston scored 21 points and Ben Vander Plas added 13 for the Bobcats (3-3), who have lost three in a row.
The Utes, who began the tournament shooting 40% from 3-point range, made 47% of their long-range attempts after they hit just 18% against the Chanticleers.
Ohio: It’s been a rough weekend in South Carolina for the young Bobcats, who twice have been beaten soundly by power-conference schools. They should get a fairer gauge of their progress under first-year coach Jeff Boals on Sunday when they face Middle Tennessee.
“Our sense of urgency and our will to win had to be greater than theirs and I thought theirs was better than ours,” Boals said. “That’s what good teams do, they respond. Our guys compete and battle, we’ve just got to continue to learn from this.”
Utah: This was an encouraging bounce-back performance for the young Utes. They looked more like the team that beat Nevada and Minnesota, and not the one that was run off the floor a night earlier by Coastal Carolina.
Ohio: Faces Middle Tennessee on Sunday night in the seventh-place game.
Utah: Takes on Tulane on Sunday in the fifth-place game.
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