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Runnin’ Utes top Ole Miss in Vegas, 83-74

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NCAA Basketball: Mississippi vs Utah Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

You awake? Chances are it’s day time when you see this, since this Pac-12/SEC matchup after dark went past midnight. Just like the previous SEC opponent, the Utes pulled away and got the win over Ole Miss, and has now improved to 4-0 on the season. It was a little bit of a coming out party for Justin Bibbins, who really carried Utah in the 2nd half, especially when Ole Miss cut an 11 point lead to 2. Bibbins had 23 points on the game, was 5-of-8 from three point land, and time and time again hit big buckets for the Utes. Bibbins also had 4 assists with only 2 turnovers. Freshman Donnie Tillman had a nice night too, and had some big moments in that 2nd half helping keep Ole Miss at bay, as he had 13 points and 8 boards. After a slow 1st half, David Collette got things going in the 2nd with 9 of his 13 points. In the 1st half it was Sedric Barefield who got things going for the Utes by scoring all 12 of his points in that opening half. Barefield did turn the ball over 7 times on the night, most in that 1st half, so that’s something that can’t continue.

Utah tightened down the defense in the 2nd half too, after Ole Miss shot almost 50% in the 1st, the Utes brought the Rebels down to 43% on the game. Utah had 17 assists, which is solid, but those 16 turnovers is still too many, and something they need to get better at before conference play. Here’s a great stat, though, the Utes were 20-of-24 from the free throw line. That’s huge, and if they keep that up going forward, they’ll be in a lot of games.

A nice win for the Utes, over another SEC foe, and now they take a day off before they meet up with former conference foe UNLV. It is always a challenge to play Vegas in Vegas, but it will be a nice test for the Utes.

I’m going to sleep.