Bouldin scores 26 as Gonzaga beats Utah 61-59
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP)—Matt Bouldin scored a career high 26 points, including 20 in the second half, as Gonzaga outlasted Utah 61-59 on New Year’s Eve.
Bouldin made 8 of 11 shots, including 6-of-8 3-pointers, as Gonzaga (10-4) snapped a two-game losing streak that dropped the Bulldogs from the Top 25.
Tyler Kepkay scored 16 points to lead Utah (8-4), which stayed close by making a season high 12 of 27 3-pointers, but shot just 40 percent in the game.
Shaun Green and Luke Nevill added 15 each for the Utes, who came into the game as the nation’s fourth-best shooting team at 51 percent.
After leading by one at halftime, the Zags scored the first 10 points of the second half—seven by Bouldin—for a 36-25 lead. Bouldin hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 12-3 Gonzaga run for a 50-38 lead with seven minutes left.
The Utes kept scoring, but Bouldin made two more 3-pointers to maintain a 56-45 lead.
Nevill scored three straight layups to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 56-51 with 2:07 left.
After Jeremy Pargo scored for the Zags, Curtis Eatmon’s long 3-pointer brought the Utes to within 58-54 with 1:03 left.
After a Bouldin free throw, Nevill sank a long jumper to cut Gonzaga’s lead to 59-56 with 10.3 seconds left.
Utah fouled on the inbound play and Josh Heytvelt sank both free throws for a 61-56 lead with 8.8 seconds left. Eatmon’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was not enough for Utah.
Despite horrendous shooting, the Utes led most of the first half until Gonzaga’s Pargo tied the score at 19 with 3:36 left. The teams swapped baskets until Pargo’s 3-pointer lifted Gonzaga to a 26-25 halftime lead.
Heytvelt scored 14 points in the first half for the Zags, topping his season high, and finished with 16. The Zags shot 50 percent in the game.