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Men's Basketball Entertains Sacramento State Saturday Evening

Nov 11, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – After ushering in the Craig Smith Era with a victory on opening night, the Utah men's basketball team welcomes in Sacramento State for a 7:30 p.m. (MT) tip on Saturday, Nov. 13, inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Todd Harris and former Runnin' Utes assistant coach Joe Cravens will have the call once again as Utah and Sacramento State square off for just the third time in program history on the Pac-12 Mountain broadcast.
Fans that bring their ticket stub or digital ticket from the women's basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 13, against Xavier will get a FREE lower bowl GA ticket for the men's basketball game later that night versus Sacramento State.
Through games on Nov. 10, here's how the Runnin' Utes and players rank nationally…

Category Value National Rank Pac-12 Rank
OREB Per Game 22.0 T6th 2nd
Rebounding Margin 26.0 T6th 1st
Rebounds Per Game 55.0 T11th 1st
Total Rebounds 55 T18th 1st


Player Category Value National Rank Pac-12 Rank
Branden Carlson Double-Double 1 T1st T1st
Riley Battin OREB Per Game 7.0 T7th T2nd
Rollie Worster A/TO Ratio 6.0 T17th T2nd

After Tuesday's season-opening win, Craig Smith is now 2-1 in his coaching debuts at the Division I level. Since the newest configuration of the Pac-12, here's how first-year head coaches have fared in the debut in the Conference of Champions per the Stat Train.
Season-Opener Record: 11-4
Season-Opener Record (Home): 10-2
Season-Opener Record (Away): 0-2
Season-Opener Record (Neutral): 1-0
Pac-12 Conference Opener: 5-8
Pac-12 Conference Opener (Home): 2-3
Pac-12 Conference Opener (Away): 3-5

Like Utah, Sacramento State also had its head coach make his debut as the Hornets picked up an 89-59 victory over William Jessup on opening night. Brandon Laired, who was an associate head coach for the Hornets, picked up his first-career victory after being elevated to interim head coach just days before the season-opener when long-time head coach Brian Katz announced his immediate retirement on Friday, Nov. 5.
Sacramento State saw all 13 available players take the floor in the season-opening win and shot a .478 clip from the floor while posting a .571 clip from beyond the arc. In addition, 12-of-13 players that saw action scored for the Hornets.
Bryce Fowler led all players with 17 points to go with four rebounds and four assists. William Fitzpatrick added 11 points on six rebounds with a pair of assists while Zach Chappell rounded out the list of double-digit scorers for Sacramento State with 10 points and six rebounds. The Hornets also had a pair of players just short of reaching double-figures with nine points apiece in Elijah McCullough and Akili Evans – both of which came off the bench.
The Utes distributed the ball well in their season-opener with five different players in double-figures with a sixth just two points shy. Utah also controlled the battle of the glass, out-rebounding Abilene Christian 55-29 – including a 22-8 edge on the offensive glass that led to 23 second-chance points.
The last time Utah had 50-plus rebounds in a game was the 2019-20 season-opener at Nevada (Nov. 5, 2019) when the Utes pulled down 51. The 22 offensive rebound was also most in a game for Utah since grabbing 28 against Rice (Dec. 3, 2005) in a triple OT game.

The three-game homestand for Utah wraps up next Monday, Nov. 15, when it plays host to Bethune-Cookman for an 8 p.m. (MT) tip to kick off the Sunshine Slam inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Jacob Tobey will have the call on the action between the Runnin' Utes and Wildcats while former Oregon and Washington State head coach Ernie Kent serves as the analyst on the Pac-12 Mountain broadcast.
Utah hits the road for the first time in 2021-22 as it travels to Daytona Beach, Fla., for a pair at the Sunshine Slam MTE. The Utes will first battle Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 3 p.m. (MT) in the Ocean Center before facing either Tulsa or Rhode Island on Sunday.
For the latest news and information on the Runnin' Utes men's basketball program, fans can stay connected online at and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.