Gach’s Big Game Leads Utah Men’s Basketball to Victory in Regular Season Finale


University of Utah sophomore forward Timmy Allen (1) and Both Gach (11) celebrate as regulation time runs out during an NCAA Basketball game vs. the Colorado Buffaloes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, March 7, 2020. (Photo by Jalen Pace | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer


Things looked bleak for the University of Utah men’s basketball team as they went to take on the Colorado Buffaloes without their starting point guard in the final game of the regular season. 

Utah used Rylan Jones’ absence as motivation when they took down the Buffaloes 74-72 on senior night. Both Gach’s 28 points led the Runnin’ Utes to an overtime victory in their regular season finale. 

The Buffaloes would take an early lead, but it was the Runnin’ Utes that would slowly and surely chip away until the final moments of the matchup. This game came down to the wire with Gach using a spin move to send the Utes and Buffaloes into overtime. 

Gach’s heroics didn’t stop there. With the Buffs up by one, Gach was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer at the buzzer and was sent to the line to shoot free throws. He would drain all three from the charity stripe to give the Utes a two-point victory.

In the last two weeks, Gach has posted 15, 19 and 28 points since returning from injury. He would account for 16 of Utah’s 33 first half points and also chip in five rebounds on the night. 

“It was big time … it was very big time,” said head coach Larry Krystkowiak about Gach’s performance. “Not everybody is built for those moments. Last couple of games he’s stepped up when the moments are the biggest. Gach puts a lot of time in behind the scenes. A few weeks ago I came in during an early morning, heard the ball bouncing, and it was Gach down there working on his game. A lot of the success that he has is because he’s earned it.”

Alphonso Plummer also had a great night shooting for the Runnin’ Utes, knocking down 21 points in 41 minutes of play. Two triples from Plummer gave the Utes their first lead in regulation during the second half of play.

“I’m blessed,” Plummer said after the game. “I’m happy for my work. I think I’m getting better and I’m helping the team everyday, so I’m just blessed and happy to be in my position right now.”

Celebration engulfed the Jon M. Huntsman Center as an emotional victory rushed through the veins of the Utah faithful. The fans stayed late to celebrate the career of the Runnin’ Utes lone senior Marc Reininger as his family was introduced to the court after the matchup.

Utah’s collective effort will put them into the Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 9 seed. The team will face No. 8 Oregon State in the first round. The Runnin’ Utes matchup will take place in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 11 at 1 p.m..


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