The Runnin’ Utes defeated the Idaho Coyotes in their first exhibition match-up with a final score of 96-76.
The Utes started the game with a 12-2 run and ended the first half dominating the Yotes. They out-rebounded Idaho by 4 and took good care of the ball with just five turnovers.
Donnie Tillman started off the game on a strong note by giving the team an early lead with his performance by scoring 12 points and shooting 50 percent from the field.
Freshmen Tim Allen and Both Gach played well in their debuts for the Utes as they posted 18 and 12 points respectively. They both showed versatility and did a bit of everything on the court.
“I thought we did a good job in the first half, we only had five turnovers I believe,” said coach Larry Krystkowiak.
Despite the confident play in the first-half, the Runnin’ Utes struggled in the second-half and the Yotes took full advantage of it.
The Yotes started the second half on a 12-2 run and forced the Utes to take many quick, contested and poor shots.
The Utes shot worse than the Yotes in the second-half as it included shooting 5/17 from downtown.
“The second half was disappointing. The way we gave up 47 points and a lot of points in the paint, I feel disrespected for the way we started the second half,” said Krystkowiak. “There is definitely some inexperience on our team. There are a lot of lessons to be learned moving forward.”
This was the first game in which the Utes played against a true opponent this season. Now knowing what adjustments to make, they should improve moving forward.
“We’re going to do some drills tomorrow and take the weekend off,” said Krystkowiak. “Then we’ll get back to work on Monday and hopefully we’re ready to go.”
Although their results were less than satisfactory, this was only an exhibition game, and the team has time to clean up their play before they enter into the higher competition of Pac-12 conference play in January.
The next time the Runnin’ Utes are back on the court is on Thursday, Nov. 8, when they take on the Maine Black Bears at 7 p.m. (MT) in the Huntsman Center.