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Men's Basketball Fends Off Wolverines for Win

Dec 15, 2020

Box Score (PDF) | Boxscore

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team's defense picked up when it needed to most and held a hungry Utah Valley team scoreless in the final 3:21 minutes to action to hang on to a 75-67 victory inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center Tuesday night.
The Utah defense clamped down on the visiting Wolverines and saw UVU go 0-for-3 from the field, two of which came from long range, to go with three turnovers in those final moments. That defensive stretch also saw the Utes go on a 7-0 run to wrap up the game behind a 5-of-6 effort from the free-throw line.
Ahead 41-35 heading into the second half, Utah (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) expanded its lead to as much as 54-39 with 13:48 remaining in the game on a nice step-back from senior Alfonso Plummer. Utah Valley (2-4) didn't back down and got as close as 68-67 of the Utes after Trey Woodbury found a lane to the hoop with 3:21 on the clock before Utah's defense took over.

UVU's roaring comeback was backed by Evan Cole, who had 18 of his career-high 31 points in the second-half. However, Utah countered with critical rebounds and defensive stops down the stretch from Timmy Allen, who finished with a season-high 19 points and six rebounds to go with a pair of assists and steals. Rylan Jones also played a big role down the stretch, scoring nine of his 12 points in the second-half – including a pair of free throws and steal.

Branden Carlson finished with 14 points and sealed the game away when he blocked Fardaws Aimaq at the rim with 10 seconds left to go with a 74-67 lead. The sophomore big man added four blocks on 6-of-10 shooting as well. Plummer also chipped in with 12 points Tuesday night as the fourth Ute in double-figures.

Utah converted 20 UVU turnovers for a 26-4 edge in points off turnovers while also turning its six offensive rebounds into 11 points … for the third-straight game, the Utes have been outrebounded this time 34-29 … fortunately, the Utes have gone 2-1 despite the fact … the 19 points is the most for Timmy Allen since scoring 26 in an overtime loss at Cal (Feb. 29) last season … tonight was the third-straight game Utah committed less than 10 turnovers in three-straight games, the last time that happened was during the 2016-17 season … freshman Ian Martinez picked up his first-career basket in a Ute uniform Tuesday night at the 8:08 mark in the second-half.
Utah remains at home in the friendly confines of the Jon M. Huntsman Center and welcomes in Idaho for a 7 p.m. tilt on Friday, Dec. 18, as part of a double-header with women's basketball, who will tip-off against Pac-12 foe Arizona State at 3 p.m. Both games will air on Pac-12 Networks. Krista Blunk will have the call while former Utah assistant coach Joe Cravens serves as the analyst.