Takeaways: Runnin’ Utes vs. UVU
The University of Utah Runnin' Utes fended off a 31 point effort from UVU's Evan Cole to defeat the Wolverines 75 to 67 on Tuesday evening. Utah led by as many as 15 points early in the second half before UVU chipped away at the lead until it was down to a one point Utah lead with just over three minutes to go.
Rebounding continues to be a weakness
After being a point of emphasis all last week, Utah lost the rebounding battle again, 29 to 34. Cole and Fardaws Aimaq lead UVU with 10 and 9 rebounds, respectively. Timmy Allen led Utah with 6 rebounds, including a clutch offensive rebound off of a Branden Carlson missed free throw in the final minute of the game to help seal the win. Carlson only had 2 rebounds himself, and Mikael Jantunen finished with 3. Guards Alfonso Plummer and Pelle Larsson each had 4 rebounds, but the Utah frontcourt will really need to step up and own the paint moving forward.
Spreading the wealth
Last season, teams were able to key on Timmy Allen and essentially shut down the Utes, but this season is starting to hum to a different beat. While Allen led the way with 19 points on 8 of 17 shooting, three other starters chipped in 12 or more points each. Plummer and Rylan Jones finished with 12 each, both connecting from deep twice. Carlson led the team at half with 12, but finished only with 14 and missed a couple times from right in front of the rim. This kind of balanced scoring will make it difficult for teams to focus only on Allen, and should continue to open up opportunities for others to step up.
Utah leader's come up clutch in the end
At the final media timeout, Utah's lead was down to just three, and UVU had momentum. However, some clutch plays in differents areas of the floor helped keep UVU from stealing a win in Salt Lake City. Two free throws, a defensive rebound, and a steal by Jones kept Utah in the lead. A couple possessions later, an Allen steal stopped a UVU chance to get it to one basket again, and then a rare offensive rebound on a missed free throw gave Utah possession with 30 seconds left. Larsson would add two free throws off that Allen rebound, but the Jones and Allen came up with crucial defensive stops that helped shut out the Wolverines in the final three minutes.
The Runnin' Utes have another game this week, hosting the Idaho Vandals on Friday in the Huntsman Center.