The Utes topped Weber State on Saturday in the Beehive Classic by a score of 60-49 at Vivint Smart Home Arena, in what will be the last version of this event. The Utes were led by Timmy Allen’s 19 points, while Branden Carlson, Riley Battin, and Mikael Jantunen all pitched in nine points.
The Utes opened the game rather slow, as Weber jumped out to a 12-6 lead, and the offense just couldn't find a rhythm, which is to be expected without starting point guard Rylan Jones, who sat out the game. It wasn't until a little later in the half, when Allen really put the Utes on his shoulders and spurred a Utah run to give the Utes the lead at 19-18. Both Gach, who had 8 points of his own, on just 3 of 11 shooting, helped the Utes in the run and ended up building a double digit lead, which was widdled down to just a six point lead at half.
The second half was a bit boring, with Utah keeping a healthy lead the entire half, which topped out after Carlson gave the Utes a 46-30 lead. Weber never really threatened, and Utah shot well from the free throw line to keep the distance healthy, going 15 of 19. The Utes did not shoot well on the day, at all, shooting just 34% from the floor, going shooting 5 of 25 from three. They held Weber to 33% shooting and 4 of 18 from three. The Utes did a nice job taking care of the ball, overall, with just the 12 turnovers, which is nice to see without Jones on the floor.
The Utes now turn into the meat of their none conference schedule, playing Kentucky next in Vegas. Coach K said Jones is day to day with his injury, and is questionable to play against Kentucky. I’m thinking the Utes will need him to keep things organized and calm when the heat turns up.
The Utes move to 8-2 on the season.
Coach K’s thoughts after the game:
Coach K on how the game played out…
“Today we didn’t shoot the ball very well, we were like 20% from three and a little over 40% from two, but I thought there was enough scrap. These in-state games, I think, come down to energy and we did a terrific job on the glass. Up until the last three or four minutes, we did a really good job of taking care of the ball. We had a stretch of 12 minutes in the second half where we didn’t turn it over and then we didn’t know quite well how to close it out. Our defensive transition was atrocious giving up layups but it was a big win for us and I’m proud of our guys.”
Coach K on the team and how they played despite not having their point guard (Jones) playing…
“We didn’t go deep into the bench. Both was out there and I thought fatigue came into play a little at times where we had break-downs on offensive execution where we didn’t run properly and at the point of attack I thought we broke down too many times in transition and guarding the ball. It is a game of mistakes and I thought overall there was some really good stretches. We had a great 5-6 minutes stretch in the first half and a really good 10-minute stretch in the second half and that’s it. I’m proud of our guys because they didn’t shoot the ball well and a lot of times when you don’t shoot the ball well you take that garbage with you to the defensive end and then you aren’t able to get stops.”
Coach K on slowing down Harding, Weber State’s top player…
“It was a collective effort. Both did a really nice job on him at times, Alfonso did a nice job and whenever there was pick and roll coverage we corralled him so there was two guys on him. It was a collective effort for him and he’s certainly the head of their snake, and I thought we did a great job for the most part. It was a good learning experience but I was really proud of our team, collectively, for stopping him.”