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Runnin' Utes Open Sunshine Slam with Resounding Victory Over Wildcats

Nov 15, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team moved to 3-0 on the year after defeating Bethune-Cookman 86-55 Monday night in its opening game of the Sunshine Slam inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
 
The win made head coach Craig Smith just 1-of-5 head coaches to start their tenure on The Hill 3-0. The last head coach to start 3-0 to start his tenure at the U was Jerry Pimm (1974-75).
 
Utah's offensive needed a little time to get going but when it did, it went on a 12-0 run that was capped off by Dusan Mahorcic's lay-up after the big man was rewarded for grabbing the defensive board and running the floor to put the Utes on top 15-4.
 
After the 11:58 media timeout, the Utes hit a bit of a wall and went just 1-of-9 from the field before a lay-up from Branden Carlson and triple from David Jenkins Jr. saw the good guys take a 27-14 edge with 7:29 left in the first frame.

 
However, Jenkins Jr. forced a Bethune-Cookman timeout with 3:19 left after the senior drained three-consecutive triples to put Utah on top 38-18 in a hurry. The Tacoma, Wash., native didn't waste much time out of the break as he heaved in his fifth longball before finishing the half with 20 points to give the Utes a 45-23 lead at halftime.

 
The second stanza was very much the same as Utah continued to increase its lead before back-to-back baskets from BCU (0-3) made it 61-36 in favor of the Utes with 12:00 left to go. The trend would not change as Coach Smith emptied his bench before the buzzer sounded with Utah delivering a resounding 86-55 victory.
 
Jenkins Jr. led all scorers with 25 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range with four assists while Brand Carlson added 14 points and nine rebounds with a perfect 6-of-6 night at the line. Both Gach rounded out the list of double-digit scorers for Utah after scoring nine of his 11 points in the second-half. Mahorcic had a good night on the glass, pulling down eight to go with his four points.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
The last time Utah had 10-plus 3-pointers in a single game was against Oregon State (3/11/20) …  Utah's plus-72 rebounding margin through the first three games of the season is tied with UNC (2018-19) and Pittsburgh (2004-05) for the third-highest margin dating back to 1996-97 per STATS, LLC … 12-of-13 available players for Utah registered at least one point … all 13 available players saw action for the second-straight game.
 
UP NEXT
Utah now hits the road this weekend for the remainder of the Sunshine Slam down in Daytona Beach, Fla., where it'll open with Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 3 p.m. (MT) on FloHoops inside the Ocean Center.
 
For the latest news and information on the Runnin' Utes men's basketball program, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
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