Utah Hosts Maine in Season Opener


Kiffer Creveling

University of Utah junior guard Sedrick Barefield (0) dribbles around University of Washington defense during an NCAA Basketball game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Casey Overfield, Sports Editor


In their 2018 home opener, the University of Utah men’s basketball team will host the University of Maine.

Last week in their annual exhibition game, the Utes hosted the College of Idaho Yotes. Utah came away with a 96-76 win. The highest scorer for Utah was freshman Timmy Allen with 18 points, and four other players scored points in the double digits. Senior transfer student Novack Topalovic got a double-double in addition to 11 points and he led the team with 11 rebounds as well. Donnie Tillman and Both Gach each collected 12 points and Sedrick Barefield followed behind with 10.  

Utah is returning seven players as well as two redshirt freshmen. They are adding nine players to their roster, including six true freshmen, two junior transfers and a graduate transfer student.  

Last season, the Utes finished 23-12 overall and placed third in the Pac-12 conference with an 11-7 record. They competed in the NIT tournament off of an at-large bid, and they saw play in the championship game where they fell to Pennsylvania State University.  

The Utes have never faced the Black Bears, and it is only the fifth time that they will have played a team from the America East Conference, of which Maine is a part.  

Against other teams from this conference, Utah is 3-1 with three wins against Stony Brook and one loss from Albany. The result of the last game was in 2006, when the Utes lost 59-58 at home.

Maine will play their season opener in Denver two days before coming to Salt Lake. This will be the first of six consecutive games that the Black Bears will play on the road. In their exhibition game earlier this month, Maine defeated Maine-Presque with a score of 82-40. In the 2017-18 season, Maine had an overall record of 6-26 and a conference record of 3-13, finishing at eighth place in their division.  

As far as home openers, this will be the eighth one for head coach Larry Krystkowiak, and the team is 7-0 under his leadership. Last year, the Utes earned an 83-62 victory against Prairie View A&M.

Tipoff for the game will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City.

[email protected]