Utah bounced back with a solid effort Friday night at the Myrtle Beach Invitational with a 80-66 win over Ohio. The Utes were led by Timmy Allen and his 19 points and 8 rebounds, while Both Gach bounced back with a 19 point effort, while Rylan Jones had a very nice game with 17 points, and was a team leading +20.
The opening half was a half of runs, with Ohio and the Utes trading runs and Utah’s offense was playing rather well, unlike the game we saw a night ago. Utah shot 60% from the field in the opening half, while shooting 62% from the three point line. Whether it was a 6-0 Utah run, a 11-2 Ohio run, or finally a 13-0 scoring run to end the half for the Utes, it was a pretty well played half of hoops for the young Utah basketball team as they went into the locker room with a 41-26 lead.
Utah came out in the second half and played well early on, stretching the lead to 20 points at one time with Timmy Allen going out of the locker room strong, and Rylan Jones finding the distance from the three point line giving the Utes a 63-44 lead. But that dreaded Utah drought came into play, that we’ve seen over the years. The Utes went for a period of over five minutes without scoring, and allowed Ohio to get back to within striking distance. The Bobcats pulled to within 10 points, but thankfully for free throw shooting, where Utah was 27 of 28 on the night, which is extremely impressive, and a mini run to give the Utes a sizable cushion, the Utes pulled away to the 14 point win. The Utes only shot 36% in that second half, and hopefully they can find some dudes going forward that can pull them out of those funks.
After the game Coach K said about the performance, “It was ugly last night. We broke down the film and we were deficient in a lot of different areas. I thought we bounced back really well. We came out with a great focus, we played hard and we shared the basketball. It was good to get a win. It’s a tough environment and I was proud of our guys. We guarded and shared and didn’t have a high turnover total.” Regarding the turnover total, the Utes had just 13, which is in the sweet spot for any given night. Once you get into the 15+ area, like last night, then you’re in a danger zone.
I think we’re learning that the Utes really need to have Gach and Allen playing well on the same night to be able to put together a good offensive performance. I worry what happens when one or the other is not clicking on any given night.
Now the Utes will get the day off as they play on Sunday morning at 8:30am mountain time. So get your coffee ready, as well as a good breakfast to have with your Utah basketball.