College basketball in... August? The Runnin’ Utes are on their European Tour currently, and they kicked it off with a win in Barcelona over the Catalan All-Stars. A tour like this will be beneficial for the Utes as they look to fill a big hole left by Kyle Kuzma. It’s encouraging when a young guy like Donnie Tillman starts his career with double-digit scoring. I think he is someone we have to keep an eye on this young man, he seems to have some serious upside. It’s also nice to see the guards, like Barefield and Bibbins have nice outings. That’s where the Utes have been lacking, in the backcourt decision making.
Learn more about the game below from the official press release:
BARCELONA – The University of Utah men's basketball team opened its European Tour with an 85-70 win over the Catalan All-Stars, Tuesday evening at Pavelló Esportiu Municipal Gym.
Tyler Rawson led the Runnin' Utes with 17 points and Sedrick Barefield added 15 points. New additions to the squad, Justin Bibbins and Donnie Tillman, both added double-digit scoring efforts as well. Bibbins, who tallied a team-high three, three-pointers, scored all 13 of his points in the second half, while Tillman managed to score 12 points on the evening.
Utah, who opened the game with a three-pointer from Rawson, trailed just one time in the contest when the Catalan All-Star squad took an 11-10 lead early in the first period. The Utes countered with a 10-0 run to close out the first quarter and then followed outscoring the Spanish team 16-8 to open the second period.
Despite missing its first seven free throw attempts, Catalan did manage to drain a few late in the second quarter and pulled within 11 points of the Utes, down 38-27 at halftime.
Barefield led all players at the break with 11 points and Rawson scored nine of his team-leading total through the first 20 minutes of play.
Bibbins drained the first of three three-pointers to open the third quarter and the Utes would go on to score 36 points in the period. Utah led 74-52 at the end of the third period.
Utah opened the fourth period missing its first few shots, but Jake Connor ended Catalan's 5-0 run with a three-pointer from the wing. Christian Popoola scored four of his six points in the final period and despite being outscored in the quarter, Utah managed to pull away and end the evening with the 15-point win.
The Utes will be back in action in the same building on Wednesday, taking on Dax Gamarde. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. local time, 11:30 a.m. MT.