The Runnin’ Utes (4-1) return to action against Big Sky opponent Montana State (5-2) tonight at the Huntsman Center. Utah will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season against Butler on Monday. This will be Utah’s third game in seven days.
Montana State will enter tonight’s game looking for their first road win of the season. The Bobcats are undefeated at home, but have dropped both of their road contests this season against Washington State and Rice. The Bobcat’s wins have not come against very formidable opponents, having beaten Louisiana-Lafayette, Rocky Mountain College, James Madison, Delaware state and Arizona Christian. Tonight’s game against Utah looks to be the Bobcats toughest game of their season.
The Bobcats have been good on the offensive end this season, eclipsing 80 points in five of their first seven games, and 90 points three times. The Bobcats are led by Tyler Hall, a 6-4 175 lb. guard. Hall is averaging 22.7 points, 6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He shoots 44% from the field and 42% from three point range. Other guards Harald Frey and Zach Green are the other main scorers, averaging 12.8 and 11.8 points per game respectively. Montana State will get a chance to test how good they really are offensively tonight, as Utah is allowing a Pac-12 low 55.2 points per game.
Utah will be looking to clean some things up tonight after turning the ball over 18 times against Butler. Coach Larry Krystkowiak acknowledged the Utes played sloppily on Monday and improvement is needed before they head out on the road to take on Xavier next week.
Kyle Kuzma and Lorenzo Bonam have led the Utes so far this season, with Kuzma averaging 16.6 points and 10 rebounds a game and Bonam averaging 15.8 points a game. Montana State is off to one their best starts ever, having won five games in November for the first time in program history. That being said, Utah’s overall talent and size advantage should be enough for Utah to get past the Bobcats and back into the win column.
Tip off is tonight at the Huntsman Center at 7pm. You can watch the game on Pac-12 Networks or listen on ESPN 700.