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Men's Hoops Welcomes in Colorado for Monday Afternoon Clash

Jan 10, 2021

Utah Game Notes | Updated Pac-12 Stats

SALE LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball looks to get back on a track as it plays host to a veteran Colorado team on Monday, Jan. 11, at 4 p.m. inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center after the game was bumped up from its original date of March 6 to accommodate make-up games later in the year.
Todd Harris will once again have the call as the Utes and Buffs square off on the Pac-12 Networks while Don MacLean serves as the analyst in the 20th meeting between the two programs since joining the conference.
With 5:20 remaining in the first half against No. 17/15 Oregon, Rylan Jones made a surgical pass to Timmy Allen for a wide-open layup and in doing so made him the 40th player in Utah men's basketball history to record 1,000 career points. In addition, he also became the 21st Ute to do as a junior. He joins 13 other active Pac-12 players to have 1,000 career points and is just 1-of-3 forwards among the group. The Mesa, Ariz., product finished the night with 23 points, which left him at 1,015 points heading into the Colorado game on Monday.

Utah head men's basketball coach kept his word and made some changes to his starting line-up with freshman Pelle Larsson making his first career-start on Saturday against No. 17/15 Oregon. The Utes were rewarded immediately with the Nacka, Sweden, product tying his season-high of 15 points to go with five rebounds and five assists on 5-of-8 shooting – including a 3-of-3 effort down range. The freshman (19-of-20) is tied for the league lead in free-throw percentage with Oregon State's Jarod Lucas (38-of-40) at 95-percent.
Sophomore Mikael Jantunen had a breakout game against No. 17/15 Oregon, scoring a career-high 20 points with seven rebounds and two assists on 8-of-14 shooting. The Finish product currently leads the team with a .585 shooting clip – which is fourth-best in the Pac-12.
Utah point guard Rylan Jones continues to be the cog that runs the offense, dishing out eight assists against No. 17/15 Oregon this past Saturday and moved his total to 38 on the season. The sophomore is averaging 4.8 assists – which is good for fourth-best in the Pac-12. Meanwhile, his 3.8 assists to turnover ratio is good for second in the league and his 15 steals is good for sixth-best. In addition, his 1.88 steals per game is second-most in Pac-12 action behind Oregon's Chris Duarte (2.45 spg).
Colorado will come into Monday's game with a little more rest than the Utes due to its game on Saturday being postponed against Oregon State due to COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocols. The Buffs' last game was this past Thursday against Oregon, which they won 79-72 – a near identical score to Utah's score against Ducks. The last time these two programs faced off, the Utes got the best of Colorado at home, 74-72, in overtime.
As a team, CU leads the nation in free-throw percentage with an .856 clip from the stripe despite being ranked 137th in free-throw attempts (195 FTA). Opponents have been held to just 62.6 points per game so far for Colorado – which is 27th best in the nation and second-best in the Pac-12.
Senior McKinley Wright IV has been the catalyst for Colorado, leading them in scoring in 8-of-11 games this year while averaging a team-best 16.0 points per game. His .553 shooting clip is only second to Dallas Walton – who's shooting 67.6-percent from the field with a 9.6 points average. Wright's 57 assists is third-most in the league while his 5.0 rebounding average is third-most on the team.
Jeriah Horne, who sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, is the other Buff averaging in double-figures for head coach Tad Boyle – checking in with 11.3 points per game and a .444 shooting clip while also leading the team with 20 made 3-pointers. His 5.8 rebounds per game also tops amongst all players. Big man Evan Battey is just out of the double-digit range, checking in at 9.9 points per game with a 5.2 rebounds average.
Despite putting together arguably its best game of the season against No. 17/15 Oregon, a hiccup in the turnover category (18) saw Utah drop the game to the Ducks 79-73 at home Saturday night. Timmy Allen had a great game on his birthday, posting 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting with five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a pair of blocks.
Mikael Jantunen had a career-night, registering 20 points with seven rebounds on 8-of-14 shooting while Pelle Larsson tied his season-high of 15 points. The Freshman also added five boards and five assists to his state line with a 3-of-3 effort from beyond the arc. Rylan Jones had a quiet offensive night, but dished out a season-best eight assists for the Utes.
Saturday's game saw Utah out rebound a league opponent for the first time, edging the Ducks 36-27 on the battle of the glass. However, its 18 turnovers saw Oregon convert into 25 points and was the deciding factor in the loss.
The 23 points from Allen and 20 points from Jantunen was the first time the Utes had two players tally 20-plus points in a game was last season against Colorado on March 7, 2020. Former Ute Both Gach had 28 points while Alfonso Plummer had 21 points.
Utah remains at home and finishes out the four-game homestand with Stanford next on its schedule on a new date of Thursday, Jan. 14, at 3 p.m. (MT) on ESPNU. Roxy Bernstein will have the call between the Utes and Cardinal while Richie Schueler serves as the analyst inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
The Runnin' Utes close out the four-game homestand with the California Golden Bears on Saturday, Jan. 16, with an 8 p.m. contest on ESPNU. Roxy Bernstein will once again guide fans throughout the game with Corey Williams giving commentary as Utah looks to sweep the Bay Area teams at home for the sixth-straight time since the 2014-15 season (did not play at home in 2018-19).