Utes beat Western Kentucky, advance to the NIT championship game

NEW YORK CITY – Tyler Rawson put the Utes ahead for good with a 3-pointer with 40 seconds to play and Utah beat Western Kentucky 69-64 in the NIT semifinal.

The Utes got off to a slow start at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Hilltoppers jumped out to an 8-0 lead, and they had a 19-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. But the Utes rallied back in the second quarter, and Rawson made the big shot down the stretch to help the Utes pull out the win.

Justin Bibbins led the Utes with 19 points, and he went a perfect 12-12 from the free throw line. Sedrick Barefield scored 14, David Collette added 13 points, and Rawson finished with 12 points.

The Utes will play in the NIT championship game on Thursday night.