SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Sedrick Barefield scored 22 points and David Collette added 17 to lead Utah over Prairie View A&M 83-62 in the season opener Friday night.
The Panthers were within three points late in the first half, but the Utes scored 24 points in a row to build a comfortable cushion.
Barefield went 8-for-12 and scored on drives to the hoop, pullups off the dribble and from beyond the arc. David Collette, the Utes' top returning scorer, made all five of his attempts on dunks or layups and went to the line 10 times in 21 minutes.
Tyler Rawson added 16 points and nine rebounds for Utah, which shot 52 percent and beat Prairie View A&M for the second straight season.
Panthers Junior Dennis Jones didn't start but made his impact immediately felt by scoring all 16 points in the first half. Gary Blackston also had 16 points and Shaquille Preston had 11 for Prairie View A&M.
Utah's length helped hold the Panthers to 39 percent shooting and the Utes outrebounded PVA&M, 41-32.
After falling behind by 11 points early, the Panthers bothered the Utes with their quickness and tenacity to claw back within 34-31. Barefield, who had 16 in the first half, scored on an acrobatic layup and a 3-pointer to put Utah up 39-31 at the intermission.
Utah played without projected starting center Jayce Johnson, who has a sprained ankle.
Prairie View: This is just the first of 13 away games to start the season and the Panthers will have to find ways to score with their perimeter-oriented team that isn't stocked with knockdown shooters. The offense sparkled when the Panthers forced turnovers and got out on the break but bogged down in the half-court when many forays to the basket came away empty.
Utah: After losing four of their top six scorers from last season, including rookie sensation Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Utes are a bit of an unknown quantity with a mix transfers and prior bit pieces. Barefield played nearly the entire game despite the lopsided score and looks to be Utah's primary outside threat while Collette scored a number of ways in the post.
Prairie View travels to Portland to face another Pac-12 foe — the Oregon Ducks.
Utah hosts Mississippi Valley State on Monday evening.