Utah opens with home-court win over Washington

Mikael Jantunen hit a jumper and assisted a Timmy Allen bucket as Utah scored the first five points of the second half to build a double-digit advantage on its way to a 76-62 romp over Washington in the Pac-12 opener for both teams in Salt Lake City on Thursday afternoon.

Alfonso Plummer, who came on strong late last year with 23, 21 and 35 points in his last three games, went for a game-high tying 21 in his season debut as the Utes (1-0) tipped off the campaign in impressive fashion.

Quade Green matched Plummer’s total with 21 points for Washington (0-3, 0-1), which lost for the third time in five days after a pair of earlier non-conference setbacks in Las Vegas.

After a tight first half in which they rallied late to take a 37-32 lead, the Utes dominated the second half after the early flurry increased their margin to 10.

Washington closed to within 51-46 after a Green hoop with 13:26 remaining before Utah took complete control with an 18-0 run that featured a pair of 3-pointers by Plummer.

By the time Green ended the Huskies’ drought with a 3-pointer with 7:09 to go, the visitors had fallen behind 69-46.

Allen finished with 14 points and Jantunen 10 points for the Utes, who shot 43.8 percent. Allen and Jantunen also shared team-high rebound honors with eight, while Pelle Larsson collected a game-high seven assists to complement eight points.

Nate Roberts recorded a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double for Washington, which shot just 35.2 percent. Hameir Wright also collected double-figure boards with 10 to go with seven points.

The Utes showed the rust of not having played any non-conference games, going scoreless for the game’s first 3:11 before Allen assisted a Plummer layup. Utah had missed its first four shots, allowing Washington to take a 5-0 lead.

The Huskies went on to lead by as many as seven on a layup by Roberts at the 10:42 mark of the half. But Utah scored the next 10 points and trailed only briefly thereafter while going up 37-32 at the intermission.