The Utes are playing their second home game this week against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, as they look to make it back to back wins. Similar to Monday, the Utes are playing another overmatched team, but they can continue to refine things further as they inch closer to conference play in a few weeks.
I’m really curious what the starting lineup looks like for this game. Coach K really mixed it up this past Monday, and I’m wondering if he’ll carry that over, or if he’ll continue to tweak it. Also, I’m really hoping we see more of what we saw Monday, which was a rather clean game on offense. Low turnovers is the name of the game for the Utes, and the ability to move the ball and find the open guy. That will all start with the point guard, and I think Goth Gach may be grasping that role. The Utes do need to do better on defense. On Monday they were giving up better than 50% from the floor much of the game, and they need to lock that in for this game.
After this game, the Utes take on Nevada next week, who is a top 10 team. The Utes need to continue to clean up all the areas that have been haunting them, which they took a nice step toward last game. They need to use this game to continue on that path.
More on NAU from UtahUtes.com:
SCOUTING NORTHERN ARIZONA
The Lumberjacks are 2-6 overall heading into its match-up with San Francisco on Wednesday. At the time of release, Northern Arizona had dropped five straight, which includes coming off a 79-74 road-loss to San Jose State this past Saturday. NAU’s wins came at home against Jacksonville (11/10) and on the road at Omaha (11/14).
The Lumberjacks have four players averaging double-digit scoring efforts on the season and are led by Carlos Hines’ 14.1 points per game. He is followed by Bernie Andre (13.5 ppg), Ted McCree (10.8) and Davon Bolton (10.6). Bolton averages double-figures despite starting just two of NAU’s eight games this season.
Andre leads the team from the field as he heads into the week shooting .526 on the season. Hines has drained a team-high 19 three-pointers on the year, but Luke Avdalovic has a team-high .522 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. McCree is NAU’s best free throw shooter with a .857 shooting percentage from the charity stripe.
UTAH VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA HISTORY
Friday will mark just the second time that Utah and Northern Arizona have met and the first meeting since Dec. 30, 1994. Utah won the initial meeting, downing the Lumberjacks 85-52 in Salt Lake City.
Utah is 156-61 all-time when facing teams from the Big Sky Conference, which includes a 5-0 mark since the 2014-15 season. Utah has won seven straight over Big Sky opponents with its last loss coming back in 2012-13 (Sacramento State).
Full game notes at:
How to watch:
GAME 11: Utah (5-5) vs. Northern Arizona (2-6)
WHERE: Salt Lake City, Utah (Jon M. Huntsman Center)
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 21, 2018
TIP-OFF: 7 p.m. MT
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks / Pac-12 LIVE
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