Runnin’ Utes to square off against Buffs

The Runnin’ Utes (4-1) will continue what has become a lopsided series Wednesday night when they go to Boulder to face Colorado (4-1).

Overall, Colorado leads the Utes 18-15 in their series together, but over the last two years, the Utes have won both meetings by an average of 26 points.

The two teams’ 2004 meeting came right after a sloppy Ute win over Weber State.

The Utes were trying to find their identity when the Big-12 Buffalos came to town.

What happened next was a big boost to the Utah program, as the Utes manhandled the Buffaloes to the tune of an 80-48 rout. The victory boosted the U’s confidence, and the team wouldn’t lose again for nearly two months.

“Something clicked that night,” Giacoletti said.

This year’s young Utes will need to be clicking as well if they expect to come out of Boulder with a win.

Colorado returns nearly all its players from last season and figures to provide a speedy challenge for Utah.

“They’re extremely athletic,” Giacoletti said. “We need to do a really good job in our defensive transition. That’s going to be the biggest key, just getting matched up.”

The biggest match-up issue for the Utes may well be sophomore guard Richard Roby, who is coming off a decorated freshman campaign.

Roby leads the Buffs in scoring, with 18.4 points per game, rebounds, with 5.6 per game, and steals, with two per game.

He has also connected on a sterling 61.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the three-point line.

The Utes are looking to rebound from a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss to Rice on Saturday. But while the defeat still counts in the loss column, Giacoletti took some positives from a game that saw them rally several times late in the game.

“We showed great fight in sticking with it and battling through some situations of adversity,” Giacoletti said.

After the trip to Colorado, the Utes will return home to the Huntsman Center for a three-game homestand against Southern Utah, Arizona and Adams State.

The intrastate clash with SUU tips off Saturday at 7 p.m.

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