Runnin' Utes Sneak Past Cal for Third-Straight Win
BERKELEY, Calif. – A win is a win, is a win. The Utah men's basketball team will take that win as it narrowly edged California Thursday night inside Haas Pavilion as both teams stood anxiously watching Andre Kelly miss the second free throw with no time left on the clock to hand the Utes the 76-75 victory.
The second half, which seemed reminiscent of the last time Utah (9-7, 6-6 Pac-12) and Cal stepped on the court together, saw the Golden Bears go on an 18-8 run to tie the game up, 50-50, when Makale Foreman drained a 3-pointer. Utah would regain a short 53-50 lead on a triple from Riley Battin heading into the 11:18 media timeout but that lead was short-lived as the home team answered with a 7-2 run to make it 57-57 with 7:25 left to play.
Freshman Ian Martinez, who scored the next nine of Utah's 18 points out the under-eight media timeout, went off for seven-consecutive points to keep the Utes ahead of Cal, 66-64, with 3:53 remaining.
Martinez' lay-up to put the Utes up 66-64 at the 4:05 mark ended up being Utah's final field goal of the game as it knocked down 10 of its next 12 free throws for the 76-74 lead before Kelly's free throws with zeros on the board.
Timmy Allen continued where he left off against the Golden Bears (7-15, 2-13 Pac-12) back at home and led all scorers in the first half with 14 points on 5-of-9 of shooting. The junior put his footwork on display in the low block, scoring on all sorts of moves against Cal while also knocking down a three to keep his defender off balance.
Nice move by @timmybuckets35??
— Utah Basketball?? (@UtahMBB) February 11, 2021
The Utes and Golden Bears went back-and-forth in the first 10 minutes of action at Haas Pavilion but Utah's defense slowly clamped down on Cal and scored 13 points off six turnovers. Down 31-30 after Foreman hit a straightaway 3-pointer, the Utah offense and defense worked harmoniously to execute a 12-1 run in the final 3:55 of action to take the 42-32 lead heading into the break. Both teams shot well in the first half though with the Utes posting a .577 (15-of-26) clip while the Golden Bears shot 50-percent (12-of-24) from the field.
Allen finished with a team-high 178 points and four rebounds while Martinez had a season-high 16 points and five rebounds on 5-of-7 shooting – including a perfect 5-of-5 night from the free throw line. Branden Carlson had a good night on both ends of the floor the Utah, scoring 13 points to go with three blocks – including one 21 seconds left in the game. Pelle Larsson, who brought up the ball in place of Jones, added 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the line.
We had 4?? #Utes in double figures tonight!??
?? Timmy Allen 18pts | 4reb
???? Ian Martinez 16pts | 5reb
?? Branden Carlson 13pts | 1reb
???? Pelle Larsson 11pts | 2reb
?? Chris Brown - USA TODAY Sports pic.twitter.com/stKxSgvSNu
— Utah Basketball?? (@UtahMBB) February 12, 2021
Utah scored 20 of its 76 points off 14 Cal turnovers … Thursday was the first time Utah had less than 10 turnovers in a game since the Colorado game at home (9) … Martinez is the eighth Ute lead the team in rebounds in a game this season … Thursday's 21-of-27 from the free throw line was just the third time this season Utah has knocked down 20-plus from the stripe … this is the fifth-straight game Utah has shot 50-percent or better in a game, while winning four of those five.
Utah remains in the Bay Area as it now gets ready to battle Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. (MT) on Pac-12 Networks. Ted Robinson will once again walk fans through play while former UCLA great Don MacLean serves as the analyst.