The Utah Runnin’ Utes opened their 2018-2019 basketball season with a 75-61 victory over the Maine Black Bears on Thursday night at the Huntsman Center.
The Utes started the game off well as they went on a 14-4 run led by Senior Sedrick Barefield, who had 18 points on 5/13 shooting and shot 6/6 from the free throw line.
Donnie Tillman was also effective in the first half, posting 15 points shooting, 6/9 from the field and 2/4 from beyond the arc. Senior Parker Van Dyke shot well from behind the arc as he scored 11 points on 4/6 shooting from the field and 3/5 shooting from downtown.
In the first half, the Utes dominated Maine, leading by 17 points at the end of the first half. The Black Bears managed to come back into this game by making multiple three-point shots and eventually found themselves down by single digits with under 12 minutes to play in the second half. The Utes were later up 66-57 with about 3:58 on the clock as they couldn’t seem to keep the Black Bears away from their lead.
Junior Jayce Johnson proved to be too much for the Bears as Johnson had a total of 5 offensive rebounds when the Utes struggled shooting from the perimeter. Johnson allowed second-chance points and ultimately secured the win for the Utes. With a monster dunk from Johnson, it started a 7-0 run late in the 2nd half which included a pair of free throws from Barefield and a three-pointer from Van Dyke.
The Utes are back in action this upcoming Monday, this time on the road in the Williams Arena in Minnesota, as they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers at 7 PM (MT).