Men’s Hoops Escapes With Win Over EA

The EA Sports Southwest All Stars once again gave the Utah men’s basketball team fits, but it was the Utes who came out on top for the first time in three years, winning 72-67.

But it took the Utes all 40 minutes to secure the win. In the first half, the Utes held a 27-16 advantage before relinquishing their lead.

In the second half, the Utes broke open a 53-43 lead at the 10:04 mark, but let the All Stars back into it. A lay-up by EA Sports player and former Utah State Aggie Maurice Spillers pulled the game to within one (61-60) with 3:52 remaining.

Travis Spivey responded, stepping in front of a pass and making two free throws with 43.5 seconds left, extending the Ute lead to 69-65.

But the game was not over yet. Spivey, who ended the game with 12 points, got the hoop and the harm with 6.8 left, opening a 5-point lead and securing the final margin.

Trace Caton led the U with 14 points and 8 rebounds, and Nick Jacobson also scored 14.

Although coach Rick Majerus was pleased with the effort, he called the Ute exposition “raggedy” basketball. Utah had 20 team turnovers and allowed the All-Stars to shoot 53.2 percent, compared to the Utes’ 41.1 percent.

“This [Utah] team is very average. There is nothing special about them. They’ll be hard-pressed to win games during the season,” Majerus said of his Utes.

Majerus was especially disappointed in junior Britton Johnsen, who started but scored just 3 points in 14 minutes after getting into foul trouble.

“Brit played foolish,” Majerus said. “He fell victim to mental weakness.”

Former Ute Tony Harvey, playing for the EA Sports team, scored 6 points, had 2 steals and 2 boards in 18 minutes in his return to the Huntsman Center. The game for Harvey and the All-Stars was their first of an 11-game tour.

Utah has one more exhibition game before the regular season begins. On Nov. 7, the Utes host the London Leopards before the regular season gets underway Nov. 16.

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