Runnin’ Utes Head On the Road to Face Cal and Stanford


University of Utah freshman guard Pelle Larsson (3) in a NCAA Basketball game vs. the Arizona Wildcats at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Cole Bagley, Sports Editor


The University of Utah Runnin’ Utes are coming off their first back-to-back conference victories of the season as they prepare to hit the road and face the University of California Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal.

The Runnin’ Utes

Ranking: N/A

Record: (8-7, 5-6 Pac-12)

Last Game: W vs. Arizona, 73-58

The Runnin’ Utes are coming off two solid conference victories as they overcame a 19-point deficit to defeat the Colorado Buffaloes and played what could be their best all-around game of the season as they easily beat Arizona last Thursday.

In the victory over Arizona, the Utes were fantastic on both ends of the floor as they finished the day shooting 27-53 (50.9%) from the floor and a blistering 8-15 (53.3%) from three-point range. Utah also held Arizona to just 20-54 (37%) from the field and a measly 2-9 (22.2%) from beyond the arc. 

Additionally, junior Timmy Allen continued to stand out as he scored 18 points on 7-13 (53%) from the field and also snagged nine rebounds. Freshman phenom Pelle Larsson was also exceptional as he scored 14 points on 5-9 (55%) from the floor and dished out four assists. It will be critical for the Utes to help keep these two guys going if they want to see victories on the road and elevate their conference record above .500 this week.

The Cal Golden Bears

Ranking: N/A

Record: (7-14, 2-12 Pac-12)

Last Game: L vs. Stanford, 70-76

The Golden Bears are the current owners of the worst conference record as they sit at a pitiful 2-12. Unfortunately, one of those victories came against the University of Utah back on Jan. 16 as Cal went on a 50-29 run in the second half to beat the Utes, 72-63. 

The former victory against Utah was a group effort as four Cal players, including three starters, finished in double-digit scoring. Utah also struggled immensely from the three-point range as they posted one of their worst shooting performances, going 6-23 (26.1%) during the contest and were just 1-12 (8.3%) in the second half. 

More recently, despite losing to Stanford, four Cal players again finished in double-digit scoring. Junior Matt Bradley led the charge as he finished with 15 points on 5-13 (38%) from the field and 2-7 (29%) from beyond the arc. Notably, Bradley is currently averaging 18.4 PPG and should be a major focus for the Utes on the defensive side of the ball. 

The Stanford Cardinal

Ranking: N/A

Record: (12-7, 8-5 Pac-12)

Last Game: W vs. Cal, 76-70

The Utes and Cardinal have also met once before this season in Salt Lake City where Utah upset the Cardinal, 79-65.

Stanford struggled as a team as they went 17-48 (35.4%) from the field against Utah. The only thing that actually kept them in the game was their decent three-point shooting as they went 9-18 (50%) but at the end of the day, it wasn’t enough to overcome Utah’s goliath 79 points. 

Last week, Stanford defeated Cal twice and most recently defeated them 76-70. While Stanford struggled from beyond the arc, they were excellent from the field as they finished 28-48 (58.3%). The Cardinal was led by Oscar Da Silva who finished with 23 points on 9-15 (60%) from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. Da Silva is averaging a career-best 19.4 PPG and should be the center of Utah’s defensive scheme. 

Follow the Matchup

The Utes will first take on Cal at the HAAS Pavilion on Thursday, Feb. 11, with a tip-off of 4 p.m. MST. Utah will then face Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 13, with a tip-off of 8 p.m. MST. Both games will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network and as always, the game will be a radio broadcast on ESPN 700 with Bill Riley on the call.


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