Runnin’ Utes to Face Wildcats in Beehive Classic

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Runnin’ Utes to Face Wildcats in Beehive Classic

University of Utah sophomore guard Both Gach (11) takes a free throw shot during an NCAA Basketball game vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah sophomore guard Both Gach (11) takes a free throw shot during an NCAA Basketball game vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Kiffer Creveling

University of Utah sophomore guard Both Gach (11) takes a free throw shot during an NCAA Basketball game vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Kiffer Creveling

Kiffer Creveling

University of Utah sophomore guard Both Gach (11) takes a free throw shot during an NCAA Basketball game vs. Brigham Young University at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer

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The University of Utah Runnin’ Utes (7-2, 0-0 Pac-12) will take on the Weber State Wildcats (3-5, 0-0 Big Sky) on Saturday Dec. 14, 2019.

 

Utah’s Previous Matchup

Being at home proved to be crucial for Utah, as the Runnin’ Utes went 2-0 in both matchups last week. It began during comeback season at the Huntsman Center last Wednesday night, as the Utes trudged back from a 16-point deficit to beat BYU in overtime 102-95. Last week also had a great ending, as the Utes topped Central Arkansas 98-67. Branden Carlson came back from injury, while Rylan Jones sustained an injury during game 2 of last weekend’s matchups.

 

Utah’s Projected Starters

Timmy Allen is coming off a week where he surpassed his season high in points (27) and assists (five) against BYU. Allen also had a 24-point effort against Central Arkansas alongside another five assists in Utah’s win.

Jaxon Brenchley has a good chance at getting his first start of the season against the Wildcats after Jones went down with an injury early on in the game against Central Arkansas. Brenchley is known for his tall build for a guard and his 3-point shooting ability. He is coming off of an 11-point game against Central Arkansas, with a season high of 14 against Mississippi Valley State.

Both Gach is coming off a week where he contributed much more than just points on the board. Gach had six points against BYU alongside three boards and three assists. He also had 13 points, three rebounds and five assists against Central Arkansas.

Riley Battin scored a total of 24 points against the Cougars and Bears last week, while also totaling six rebounds and five assists during the two games. Battin is one of the leaders on this year’s team and will continue to play a major role on both ends of the floor throughout the season.

Carlson came back from injury last week against Brigham Young. He was limited during the two games due to his limited practices throughout the week. Carlson totaled eight points, four rebounds and one assist in a total of 24 minutes in the two games.

 

Weber State Players to Watch Out For

Jerrick Harding is a 6-foot-1-inch senior from Wichita, Kansas who is averaging just over 20 points per game for the Wildcats. His highest scoring game came against the Utah Valley Wolverines, where he had 36 points in his 35 minutes on the floor. Harding was named the Preseason Big Sky MVP and is currently in the top five for scoring in Weber State History.

Cody John is a 6-foot-3-inch senior from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. John is currently second on the team in points, averaging 11 points, four rebounds and two assists per game. His best game this season came against San Diego, where he racked up 20 points and five rebounds.

 

History

Throughout history, Utah is 26-14 against the Wildcats. The last matchup was a loss to a Damian Lillard-led Weber State team in Ogden in 2011. Before then, Utah had won nine of the last 10 matchups between the two schools dating back to 2000. Utah is 17-3 in Salt Lake City and 9-11 in Ogden. This will be the first neutral site between the two squads.

 

What’s Next for Both Teams

Utah will take the road for the first time in a few weeks to take on two major opponents at two different neutral sites. Game one will take place between the Runnin’ Utes and the Kentucky Wildcats. The rematch of the 1998 National Championship game will be played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. An old familiar foe will face off against the Utes three days later, as Utah will take on the San Diego State Aztecs at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The second matchup of the weekend will take place on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 4:30 p.m. These will be the final two games before the Utes take a break for the Christmas holiday season.

Weber State will head back to Ogden to take on the Bethesda Flames on Tuesday, Dec. 17. The Wildcats will then take a short road trip to Provo to take on the Brigham Young Cougars on Saturday, Dec. 21.

 

Where to Watch the Game

The game Saturday will be a part of the third annual Beehive Classic, which will be a neutral site game at the Utah Jazz’s Vivint Smart Home Arena.  You can also watch the game on Pac-12 Networks and listen to the game on ESPN 700.

 

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@brayden_ramsay