Runnin’ Utes Defeat Bethune-Cookman in Game One of Sunshine Slam


Jack Gambassi

(Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Sports Editor


The University of Utah men’s basketball team moved to 3-0 with a resounding victory over Bethune-Cookman on Monday night in the first game of the Sunshine Slam.

The Utes had some rebounding struggles early in the game, which is not something they dealt with in the first two games. They had previously been out-rebounding opponents by significant margins, but in the early going tonight they allowed five offensive rebounds in under five minutes.

The Utes cleaned up their rebounding over the next few minutes. Dusan Mahorcic had a few nice buckets after getting his jersey ripped on a foul, forcing him to wear a replacement No. 51 for the rest of the evening. 

Utah got production from everywhere in the first half. Branden Carlson got to the free throw line five times, hitting all five attempts. David Jenkins Jr. hit three triples in a row to balloon Utah’s lead to 20, 38-18, with about three minutes to play in the first half. 

Following a timeout, Jenkins hit another three followed by a pair of free throws to continue his hot streak. He led all scorers with 20 points at halftime as the Utes were in front, 45-23. 

In the second half, Utah continued to score and the Wildcats did not. The Utes’ defense was staunch as they held Bethune-Cookman to just 55 total points on 32.3% shooting. 

It was a wire-to-wire blowout for Utah. They maintained around a 30 point lead for most of the second half, and finished off the victory at 86-55. The game was never in doubt, and Utah picked up a win in the first game of the Sunshine Slam before they hit the road to Florida this weekend. 

The only issue tonight for Utah was turnovers. They had 13 on the night, something that head coach Craig Smith was focused on after the game.

“I thought we played really really well in stretches, and then I thought we lost our focus at times,” said Smith. “Gotta tighten some things up.”

Harrison Creer scored his first collegiate points tonight for Utah.

“It was a dream come true,” Creer said. “I just can’t praise our camaraderie enough.”

The Utes are prepared to hit the road for the first time this season as they will travel to Florida for a game against Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 20th at 3 p.m. MST. They will play again on Sunday, with the opponent yet to be determined.

“We do a good job of prepping,” Jenkins said. “Whatever the situation is, we’re just always prepared.”

“I think we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time,” said Smith. “Our guys are ready and excited for the next challenge.”


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