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Utes fall to Mizzou on the road

NCAA Basketball: Manhattan at Utah Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It was going to be a tough game for the Utes without Branden Carlson, who stayed in SLC in healthy and safety protocols. Without that big man and Dusan Mahorcic, the Utes were going to have a hard time rebounding and having any significant impact in the paint. This was pretty well illustrated by the shooting by the Utes, who shot 40% from three and 42% overall for the game. The Utes did most of their damage from beyond the arc. The Utes ended up falling 83-75, and it was a one or two-possession game throughout. The Utes had to play the foul game at the end, which is why the lead stretched to eight. The Utes were led by David Jenkins 18 points off the bench, as he seemingly has found his shot again after a couple of challenging games. Marco Anthony had 16, and Both Gach pitched in 15 points.

The real story of this game came in the second half; as Utah was attempting to build a lead and maybe put the game away, they couldn’t stop Kobe Brown, who had 27 points and just feasted in the paint. He seemingly rebounded every offensive board and was living at the free-throw line going 11 of 13, and the Utes couldn’t keep him out of the paint. Mizzou had 16 offensive rebounds on the game, which made a massive difference. Missouri’s active hands caused Utah a bunch of issues not only on the boards but also by poking the ball away and creating turnovers. The Tigers shot just 4 of 21 from three, but they hit two huge threes to put the Utes away. One of those threes cut Utah’s lead from six to three after it seemed like maybe Utah was going to pull away, and then one from deep with the shot and game clock winding down to give Mizzou the lead they needed to put Utah away.

Overall, not a pretty game at all. Both teams slogged around in this game outside of a couple of solid stretches. Missouri isn’t a very good basketball team, but the margin of error is razor-thin with Utah’s depth issues right now. Carlson is slated to miss the next game but should hopefully be back after that. The hope is that a COVID issue doesn’t sweep through the program as it has been at programs like UCLA.

Next up, the Utes play Fresno State in SLC.