Utah Basketball: Utes complete the weekend banner by directing Washington

The Utah Runnin’ Utes treated the 75 or so former players who attended Alumni Night to one of the best performances of the Craig Smith era on Saturday.

Branden Carlson went on the best stretch of games of his four-year career With 25 points and eight rebounds, Rollie Worster nearly had a triple-double, as the Utes led the Utes wire by wire for the second straight game and beat Washington 86-61 in convincing fashion before a reported crowd of 7,815 for the game. Huntsman Center.

“We played very aggressively. Like, we were strong physically and mentally, and we executed it. We had a great week. Our guys obviously improved this week.” – Utah basketball coach Craig Smith.

“We played really well. It was a great week for the Runnin’ Utes men’s basketball program in every way,” Utah coach Craig Smith told ESPN Radio 700.

“I want to thank all of the former players who paved the way for these players, all of the legendary players. It means a lot on a personal level to see all of these guys come back and support our program.”

The Utes were selected to finish 10th in the Pac-12 when the season began, and finished the first half of the conference season at 7-3, 14-7 overall. They enter the second half of the league table in second place, behind only UCLA (8-1), which lost 58-52 in Arizona on Saturday afternoon.

The Washington team, which won three straight and was riding a 75-72 win on the Colorado road, fell to 4-6, 12-9.

“We played very aggressively,” said Smith. “Like, we were strong physically and mentally, and we executed it. We had a great week. Our guys obviously improved this week.”

In the only meeting scheduled for the year with the Utes, the Huskies barely had a chance as Utes put up an outstanding effort on either end of the court. It was similar to Smith’s other win—an 81-66 victory over Arizona again on December 1—albeit against a less talented opponent.

“When we play at this level, and we play that way for each other, great things will happen to us,” said Carlson.

The Huskies finished Utah’s season last year in the Pac-12 Championship, winning 82-70 in Las Vegas, but tonight, the area-loving Huskies had no answers for Carlson Worster and company.

after two nights 28 points In the Washington State explosion, Carlson went 10-of-17 from the field in 33 minutes, and also had three blocks and three steals.

Carlsson became the first Ute team to score 25 or more points in consecutive games since Andrew Bogut in 2004-05.

“I think it’s just a group of guys, we’re not over dribbling like we used to,” Carlsson said of the improved attacking performance. “Often, one extra swipe unlocks a bucket.”

Worcester came on the rebound in a triple-double, scoring 11 points, 10 assists and nine boards. The young Montana hit a 10th rebound in the last minute, but it went to Marco Anthony instead, giving Anthony a double-double.

Anthony, a fifth-year player, also had 13 points and three assists Utes recorded 20 assists for the second straight game.

Carlson told ESPN 700 that teammates were giving Anthony good locker room ribbing to cost Worster a triple.

“Oh, he doesn’t hear the end of it,” Carlson said.

Worster played 37 minutes and only committed one turnover.

“Rollie was amazing,” said Smith. “One spin all weekend… He made a lot of right plays.”

Utah won the rebounding battle 48-30 and had 25 second chance points.

The positives keep pouring in for the Utes, who lost three in a row before his home run this week.

Utes guard Gabe Madsen rediscovered a block stroke after a few tough innings and finished with 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting. Defensively, the Utes made some mistakes for the second night in a row as well. Kentucky transfer Keon Brooks Jr. led the Huskies with 17 points, but needed 19 shots to get there. Cole Bagema added 13.

Washington shot 35% from the field and 31% from 3-point range.

The only negative result of the night came in the first half when new midfielder Kepa Keita suffered a right foot injury. Keita left the field on his own and had a protective boot on his right foot after the match.

Smith didn’t have an immediate update on Keita’s condition, but said he believes the center, who didn’t score in the game, should be ready for next week’s games at Oregon State and Oregon State.

Speaking of which, not only does the Oregon game next Saturday in Eugene represent a chance for the Leotis to avenge their 70-60 loss in Salt Lake City two weeks ago, but a win could give them a nice bump in the network’s ratings. And maybe bring them back into the NCAA tournament discussion.

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