Runnin’ Utes Pocket First Pac-12 Win Streak


Jack Gambassi

Utah basketball’s Marco Anthony (#10) in the matchup against the UCLA Bruins at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Sports Editor


The University of Utah men’s basketball team has their first win streak in Pac-12 play this season after defeating Cal on the road to complete a sweep of the Bay Area over the weekend. Utah led most of the way and ultimately held off a late comeback attempt by the Golden Bears to secure a victory.

The Utes took the lead about eight minutes into the game after a fast start by Cal. After that point, they never trailed the rest of the way despite a strong challenge. They were up 10 with under six minutes to go, but due to a few turnovers and missed opportunities, the Golden Bears were able to make a comeback. Cal fought back to push it to just a two-point game with 19 seconds, but two clutch free throws from Lazar Stefanovic put the game away. Jalen Celestine drilled a three pointer with only five seconds left to make it a one point game, but the Golden Bears were out of time. They had a prayer to win it at the buzzer but it didn’t fall.

The Utes won this game the same way they’ve had their success in all their wins this year: strong defense and a balanced scoring attack. Only one Ute was in double figures scoring, Marco Anthony. Every other player that attempted a shot scored. Utah also limited their turnovers with only 12.

It was a strong team win to give the Utes their first winning streak since November and the beginning of the season. It’s been a long season in the Pac-12 for the Utes, where they are just 4-13. There are three games remaining in the season before the Pac-12 Tournament. 

Up next, the Utes will return home to face No. 3 Arizona on Thursday. They’ll aim to play spoiler for a team that’s angling for a top seed in March Madness.


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