Utah Men’s Basketball Falls Short at Myrtle Beach Invitational



University of Utah Utes Men’s Basketball Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak talks to the team during an NCAA Basketball match vs. the Minnesota Gophers at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer

The University of Utah men’s basketball team (4-2, 0-0 Pac-12) took part in the Myrtle Beach Invitational in Conway, South Carolina over the weekend. In Game 1, the Utes matched up against the tournament host, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Utah would then take on the Ohio Bobcats in game two before finishing the tournament against the Tulane Green Wave.


Utah vs Coastal Carolina Recap

The Utes started the tournament slow, falling behind early to the Chanticleers 19-10 in the first 10 minutes of the game. Utah would fight their way back, coming within one point towards the end of the opening half. Coastal Carolina would hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to get ahead by six heading into halftime.

Utah would struggle in the second half, going 2-15 from outside and 7-28 from inside the three-point line. Not even the foul line was kind to the Utes, as the team shot 55% from the charity stripe. Coastal would go on a 15-2 run half way through the second half to take a commanding lead that would eventually lead the Chanticleers to a 79-57 victory.

Timmy Allen led the way for the Utes in the team’s first loss of the season with 15 points and nine rebounds. Rylan Jones and Branden Carlson were tied with the team lead of three assists.


Utah vs Ohio Recap

Day two of the Myrtle Beach Invitational would feature the Utes taking on the Ohio Bobcats. The two teams lost on day one, putting them up against each other in the consolation bracket.

The Utes were able to get off to a quick 9-3 start with buckets from Allen, Carlson, Both Gach and Riley Battin. The Bobcats would hold the Utes for six minutes without a field goal to go up for the first time in the game. Utah would quickly jump back on top after Allen and Gach scored to put the team back up by three. After the Bobcats went ahead once again, Gach would take the team on a run, scoring the six points to give the Utes a lead. The Utes would go on a few runs throughout the remainder of the first half, going into halftime ahead 44-34.

The ball would find the basket five of the first seven shots the Utes took in the second half to extend the lead to 55-38. Jones would score two 3-pointers in a row to give the Utes a 63-44 commanding lead with just over 11 minutes left to play. Utah’s never-say-die mentality was in full effect once again, as the Bobcats would come within 10 twice but never any closer.

Utah would win game two of the Myrtle Beach Invitational 80-66. Allen would once again lead the team with 19 points and eight rebounds. Three other Utes finished the game in double figures with Gach reaching 18, Battin chalking up 10 and Jones setting a career high with 17 points.

“It was ugly last night. We broke down the film and we were deficient in a lot of different areas,” said Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak.  “I thought we bounced back really well. We came out with a great focus, we played hard and we shared the basketball. It was good to get a win. It’s a tough environment and I was proud of our guys. We guarded and shared and didn’t have a high turnover total.”


Utah vs Tulane Recap

Utah would drop their second game of the year in the fifth place game in the Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Utes would trade buckets early with the Green Wave, which led to the Utes taking a 31-30 lead with five seconds remaining in the first half. Unfortunately for the Utes, that wasn’t enough to hold the lead into half, as they gave up a last second buzzer beater to go down by one.

Halfime would prove to be a beneficial rest for the Utes as they came out in a rage, going on a 9-2 run. With just over three minutes to play in the game, Utah was in the lead 61-57. Tulane would go on a 8-0 run to give the Utes a late deficit. The Utes would come within two points in the final seconds in the game, but couldn’t hold the Green Wave off as Tulane would hit enough free-throws to give themselves a 65-61 win.

Allen and Carlson led the squad with 14 points, while Jones chipped in 11 points alongside six assists.


Next Up for the Utes

Utah will travel back to Salt Lake City for a three-game stretch against UC Davis, Brigham Young, and Central Arkansas. Game one against UC Davis will take place on November 29 at 7pm at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.


How to Watch

If making it to the game isn’t an option, you can watch the matchup against the UC Davis Aggies on Pac-12 Networks. Bill Riley will also be on the radio call on ESPN 700.


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