Utah Men’s Basketball Beats UC Davis in Post-Thanksgiving Matchup

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Utah Men’s Basketball Beats UC Davis in Post-Thanksgiving Matchup

University of Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen (1) grabbing an offensive rebound in an NCAA Men's Basketball game vs. Mississippi Valley State University at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen (1) grabbing an offensive rebound in an NCAA Men's Basketball game vs. Mississippi Valley State University at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen (1) grabbing an offensive rebound in an NCAA Men's Basketball game vs. Mississippi Valley State University at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen (1) grabbing an offensive rebound in an NCAA Men's Basketball game vs. Mississippi Valley State University at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay

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The Utah Runnin’ Utes (4-2, 0-0 Pac-12) played host to the UC Davis Aggies (2-6, 0-0 Big West) on Friday night. Utah is coming off a 1-2 showing at the Myrtle Beach Invitational while UC Davis is playing for the first time since a 72-66 loss at Cal.

The Utes had a tough loss to begin the game as center Branden Carlson didn’t play due to injury. Lahat Thioune started in his place.

“Carlson was hurt, he’s got a knee issue. We’re pretty banged up,” said head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “We’ve got to take advantage of a couple of days off and find a balance between getting some practice in as well as getting guys some rest.”

Utah started the game with a bang, going ahead 11-2 in the first two minutes of the showdown. Riley Battin and Both Gach combined for three 3-pointers, while Thioune put a layup in to continue the quick start.

The 3-pointers continued to fall for the Utes, going 6-9 from beyond the arc halfway through the first half. Utah also dominated the glass, holding the Aggies without a rebound until just over the 12-minute mark in the matchup.

Utah went into halftime with a 40-27 lead.

The Utes and Aggies traded buckets through the first few minutes of the second half when Rylan Jones hit a 3-pointer to put the Utes on top 55-43 with 13:35 left in the game. Timmy Allen picked up his fourth foul with 12:25, remaining setting up the Aggies to come within eight.

Battin scorched the nets with his third 3-pointer of the night to put the Utes back ahead by 13 with eight minutes left in the game. The Aggies hung around though, going on a 7-2 run to cut the Utes lead back to eight.

UC Davis continued to chip away at the Utes’ lead, coming within five with 3:38 left to play. Allen hit a clutch shot with just under two minutes left to play to extend a small Utah lead.

Utah finished strong, hitting their free throws in the final seconds to secure a 77-73 victory and move to 5-2 on the year.

Allen led the Utes with 20 points while Jones hit a career high 18 points. Battin would lead the team with six rebounds and Gach would lead the way with six assists.

“It was a good win. I thought we did a super job of sharing the ball and moving the basketball around,” Krystkowiak said after the game. “I thought we started the game real well and finished the game real well.”

 

Whats Next for the Utes

Utah will take part in the Deseret Duel once again as they face the Brigham Young Cougars on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 at 6 p.m. BYU won the last matchup between the two squads, leaving Vivint Smart Home Arena victorious by a score of 74-59 in the 2018 Beehive Classic.

 

How to Follow the Utah vs BYU Game

Utah vs BYU will take place at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. If you can’t make it to the game, the Beehive Classic will be broadcast on television by Pac-12 Networks, alongside Bill Riley’s radio call on ESPN 700.

 

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