Bachynski scores 22, Utah beats Idaho State 57-46 in tourney opener

Nov 21 2012 - 11:29pm


SALT LAKE CITY -- When Dallin Bachynski heard in practice two days ago that he would be starting, he had to catch his breath.

"It was a personal goal of mine to start this year, and now I don't want to ever give up my spot. From the get-go I was determined to be the energy guy and set the tone," said Bachynski, who posted career highs of 22 points and 16 rebounds and Utah defeated Idaho State 57-46 on Wednesday night.

The rest of the Utes didn't immediately follow the sophomore center's lead. Melvin Morgan, who led the Bengals with 15 points, made a jumper that gave Idaho State its largest lead, 31-22 early in the second half.

The Utes began bypassing outside shots and started to find Bachynski inside.

"Dallin brought an inside presence tonight that we have needed. Coach had a game plan to pound it inside and he responded with some key buckets," said Glen Dean, who had 11 points.

The 7-foot sophomore transfer powered a 15-1 run that culminated in Jason Washburn's layup for a 54-38 Utah edge with 6:26 to play.

Washburn was Utah's (2-1) starting center and leading scorer last year but Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said, "The future is very bright for Dallin."

After surrendering a 13-point lead to Sacramento State last Friday to lose 74-71, the Utes again struggled on offense down the stretch. Bachynski missed two dunks late in the game but the Bengals couldn't convert on the other end, even missing four 3-pointers in one possession in the final minute.

"I tried showing off a little bit on those dunks and it bit me in the butt," Bachynski said.

Idaho State (0-3) shot just 30.6 percent from the field, including 5 of 26 in the second half.

"I think it was more us than them. I think we might have gotten tired. That sounds like an excuse but the just got after it more than we did in the second half," Idaho State coach Bill Evans said.

"We have a term called a kill -- three consecutive stops -- and we were able to do that five times in the second half. That's what turned it around for us," Krystkowiak said.

In his first start, Bachynski had the most rebounds for a Utah player since Luke Neville in the Mountain West Conference Tournament in 2009.

"He's got a lot of energy. Dallin's a force inside to be reckoned with. He gave us a great lift on both sides of the ball," Krystkowiak said.

The Bengals were able to thwart any Utah fast breaks in the first half and their zone denied any Utes dribble penetration.

"We were really stagnant in the first half and really shot ourselves in the foot on a number of possessions," Krystkowiak said.

Utah outpaced the Bengals 35-17 in the second half after Dean told his teammates, "Let's just play like we are back at the park or at the playground."


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