The Utes got back on the winning track on Friday night, as they got a win over UC Davis 77-73. The Utes were led by Timmy Allen’s 20 points, Rylan Jones put in 18 points, Riley Battin had 15 points and Both Gach had 11 points.
The Utes came out of the locker room to open the game with their hair on fire. They shot 68% to open the game in that first half, including 7 of 12 from three point land. The Utes offensive machine was moving the ball well, and finding the open guy all half long. The Utah offense jumped out to an 11-2 lead. The Utes continued to find the bottom of the basket heading into the media timeout, hitting 6-of-6 from the floor for the 16-9 lead. The Utes lead hovered around that 10 point area for a majority of the first half, but the Utes were able to push it to 13 with some three point shooting to give the Utes the 40-27 halftime lead.
UC Davis came out of the locker room at half with some fire as they cut Utah’s lead down to 45-40 after Elijah Pepper and Joe Mooney combined for 13 points before Jones was able to knock down a triple to bring the lead back up to 48-40.
The second half seemed like a half of cat and mouse as the Aggies got to within 48-43 out of the break, but the Utes were able to push their lead back up to 60-47 on a triple from Riley Battin. However, UC Davis would not back down and trimmed the lead back down 66-62.
That Utah lead went back up to 70-62 after Timmy Allen drained a fade-away jumper and a pair of free throws the next possession down. From there, things went back-and-forth with Utah trading free throws with three’s from UC Davis.
Here are some thoughts from Coach K after the game:
“They’re better than their record, they’ve got a nice combination of some shooters and their freshman point-guard is very good. The leading scorer on their team, their five-man, I thought we did a good job with double teams and turned him over, we kind of took him out of the game a little bit. That team is capable of doing some good things and they hit a rough patch, but we had a heck of a time defending the three-ball at times, and I thought we did a good job at sharing the ball and we did well at moving the basketball. We had some glimpses of playing together, I thought we started the game really well and finished the game really well. It was a good win for us.”
On the starting line-up change…
“Well Carlson is hurt, he’s got a knee issue. We’re banged up. I don’t think there is too many people in America that would have played, in talking about Rylan with his sprained ankle. On Wednesday, at the end of practice he went down. I never would have guessed that he would have played today, based on the injury, and that’s the second time this season that he’s taped it up. He’s old school and he’s tough as nails, and for him to have the floor game that he had with the injury that he sustained on Wednesday is pretty impressive. We’ve got to take advantage of the days off in the next couple days and get ready for BYU on Wednesday. Hopefully, we can find a little bit of balance and have a productive couple of practices, but also get our guys some much needed rest.”
Next up for the Utes is BYU at the Huntsman Center on Wednesday.