Men's Basketball Wraps Up Homestand with California Saturday Night
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team looks to build upon its success Thursday evening when it plays host to California this Saturday, Jan. 16, for an 8 p.m. (MT) game on ESPNU inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Dave Pasch will guide fans throughout the game while former NBA Champion and UCLA Hall of Famer Bill Walton serves as the analyst.
BAY AREA SWEEP
The Runnin' Utes will look to complete its sixth-straight sweep of the Bay Area teams at home this weekend since the 2014-15 campaign (did not play at home in 2018-19). The last time Utah split the Bay Area teams at home was in its inaugural season back in 2011-12 when it lost to Cal (60-46) before defeating Stanford (58-57) in head coach Larry Krystkowiak's first season at the helm on the Hill. A win would also give the Utes their sixth-straight win over the Golden Bears at home.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
The California Golden Bears will be heading to Salt Lake City with a lot of motivation after dropping four of its last five games with the lone win coming against Washington at home on Jan. 9. Cal recently dropped an 89-60 decision to Colorado on Thursday to open its trip to the Mountain schools.
Andrew Kelley led the team with 16 points in the loss while Makale Foreman and Ryan Betley chipped in with 13 points and 12 points, respectively for the Golden Bears. The biggest difference was that the Buffaloes were able to turn Cal over 16 times and converted that into 23 points.
Offensively, Matt Bradley, who has missed the last five games due to an ankle injury, leads the Golden Bears with 17.8 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game to go with a .454 shooting clip. Betley, Foreman and Kelly are all 0.4 points of one another on the scoring column, averaging 10.8 points, 10.5 points and 10.4 points, respectively, for the Golden Bears.
Foreman, who has started 8-of-14 games this season, is second on the team in assists with 31 dimes on the year while pacing the team in 3-point percentage with a .379 clip. Kelly is the team's leading rebounder averaging 5.8 boards per game while shooting .619 from the floor – which ties him with Utah's Mikael Jantunen for the second-highest field-goal percentage in the Pac-12.
LAST TIME OUT
Utah looked like it finally got over the hump in its game against Stanford on Thursday evening with its 79-65 victory over the Cardinal. The Runnin' Utes did not give up their halftime lead and maintained their poise down the stretch behind with six players reaching the scoring column in the second-half while knocking down 15-of-17 from the line.
Defensively, the Utes held reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Oscar da Silva to just eight points and two rebounds in addition to holding highly-touted freshman Ziaire Williams to just nine points. Daejon Davis, who had missed games due to injury, led the Cardinal with just 12 points – six of which came at the charity stripe.
Timmy Allen led all-scorers with 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Alfonso Plummer gave the Utes a much-needed boost from the bench, scoring 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Branden Carlson also had a good night off the bench, posting 12 points, four rebounds and four blocks. Mikael Jantunen rounded out the double-digit scoring for Utah with 11 points and seven rebounds on 5-of-7 shooting to go with a three steals.
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Utah hits the road now for the next two weeks with the Washington schools up first. The Utes will first fly to the Palouse and take on Washington State next Thursday, Jan. 21, for an 8 p.m. (MT) match-up on Pac-12 Networks and will get an extra days rest before battling the Washington Huskies on Sunday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m. on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.
The Utes will have just one game the following week, a 7:30 p.m. (MT) tip against Colorado on Pac-12 Network. The Buffs got the best of Utah at home this past Monday, battling back from a 37-27 deficit to defeat the Utes 68-58. The last time Utah beat Colorado in Boulder was back on Feb. 23, 2017.