Utah Men’s Basketball Beat Weber State in Final Season of The Beehive Classic

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Utah Men’s Basketball Beat Weber State in Final Season of The Beehive Classic

Sophomore Both Gach (11) gets a pass against Weber State University in the Beehive Classic on Dec. 14 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
(Justin Prather | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Sophomore Both Gach (11) gets a pass against Weber State University in the Beehive Classic on Dec. 14 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. (Justin Prather | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Sophomore Both Gach (11) gets a pass against Weber State University in the Beehive Classic on Dec. 14 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. (Justin Prather | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Sophomore Both Gach (11) gets a pass against Weber State University in the Beehive Classic on Dec. 14 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. (Justin Prather | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer

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The University of Utah Runnin’ Utes (7-2, 0-0) faced off against the Weber State Wildcats (3-5, 0-0) in the Zions Bank Beehive Classic on Saturday afternoon.

The crowd was sparse on a brisk winter afternoon in Salt Lake City as the Utes and Wildcats faced off in the third annual Beehive Classic.

A bucket by Riley Battin excited fans as Utah took a 2-0 lead to begin the game. Shooting was a struggle for both teams in the first half, with the Utes going 11-29 from the field and 4-14 from 3-point land. The Wildcats also posted a shocking 10-30 from the field and 4-10 from the 3-point line. The lead finally came back the Utes’ way with 9:34 left in the first half. A pass by Weber State was deflected and driven in for a dunk by Both Gach on the opposite end of the floor.

Weber made a small comeback to tie the game at 20 before the Utes would go on an 11-0 run in the final minutes of the half. The scoreboard read 31-25 as the buzzer sounded for halftime.

The second half seemed to have a bit more buzz as Utah began with a 6-0 run. The highlight of the run came as a behind-the-back pass by Battin found Branden Carlson for a monster slam dunk.

Utah continued their push and took a 16-point lead into the final 10 minutes of the ballgame.

A late surge by Weber state featured a few points in transition, cutting Utah’s lead to 11. This wouldn’t be enough to slow down the Utes. Utah would go on to win 60-49 and finish their three seasons in the Beehive Classic with a combined record of 2-1 with wins over Utah State and Weber State.

Timmy Allen would go on to lead the Utes in scoring and assists with 19 points and four assists. Battin also chalked up 10 rebounds to lead the team tonight.

A note from this afternoon’s game is that freshman Rylan Jones wasn’t available due to injury. After the game, Allen said, “It hurts my heart. That’s my PG. He’s a great player. I think he’s the best freshman in the Pac-12. We were able to muscle this one out and hopefully we’ll have him back for Wednesday.”

After this afternoon’s matchup, Utah’s focus will turn to two high-profile games before they head into Pac-12 play in January.

“I don’t know if it’s so much about turning a corner as much as it is about jumping into a different level of poker stakes,” coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “I’m pleased that we’ve played 10 games and won eight of them.”

 

Next Up for the Utes

Utah will travel a few hours south to take on the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Utes and the Wildcats have a storied background matching up in many March Madness tournaments, most notably the 1998 National Championship game. After the matchup with Kentucky, the Utes will head to Los Angeles where they will take on San Diego State at the Staples Center. San Diego State and Utah were former conference foes during Utah’s time in the Mountain West Conference.

 

How to Follow Next Week’s Games

Next week will have two showdowns that will both be shown on ESPN. Game 1 between the Utes and the Kentucky Wildcats will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 at 9 p.m. Game 2 against the San Diego State Aztecs will be on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. Both games can also be listened to on ESPN 700 with Bill Riley and Jimmy Soto on the call.

 

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@brayden_ramsay