Runnin' Utes Entertain Golden Bears Sunday Afternoon
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team looks to right the ship and get back in the win column as it returns to the Jon M. Huntsman Center this Sunday, Dec. 5, to host California at 3 p.m. (MT) to close out the early Pac-12 Conference games on Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day.
Todd Harris will have the call while former Arizona Wildcats star Matt Muehlebach serves as the analyst in the Pac-12 Network broadcast.
- Utah fans that attend the women's basketball game against BYU this Saturday, Dec. 4, will receive half-price tickets to the men's basketball game against Cal on Sunday, Dec., 5, at 3 p.m. (MT) with their ticket stub (physical or digital)
- The Pac-12 home-opener against Cal will serve as the Faculty & Staff Appreciation game. All University of Utah faculty and staff members receive a free ticket with their UID
- Next Saturday's game against Manhattan is Superhero Saturday and all kids in attendance will receive superhero capes
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
California heads into this Sunday's match-up 4-4 overall on the year and 0-1 when playing on the road. Utah defeated Cal in its last meeting in a game that went down to the wire inside Haas Pavilion, 76-75, but the Golden Bears got the best of the Runnin' Utes in Salt Lake City after storming back from a double-digit deficit to hand the Utes a 72-63 loss.
Andre Kelly leads Cal through eight games in both the scoring and rebounding column, averaging 16.6 points and 9.6 rebounds. In addition, Kelly is leading the team with a .675 shooting clip – which ranks 13th nationally and second in the Pac-12. Jordan Shepard, a grad transfer from Charlotte (2018-21) by way of Oklahoma (2016-18), is second on the team in scoring with a 14.6 points average while Grant Anticevich is average 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds for Cal. Shepherd (10-of-27) and Anticevich (11-of-28) combine for nearly half of the team's 3-pointers, hitting 22 of the team's 45 shots from downtown.
Meanwhile, the trio of Kelly, Shepherd and Anticevich account for 65-percent (323 points) of the team's points (526). Sunday's game will also serve as Cal's second true road game this season after dropping a 55-52 decision to UNLV on opening week.
LAST TIME OUT
The injury bug continued to plague the Utes in its Pac-12 opener with junior big man Branden Carlson going down with an ankle injury midway through the first half against #20/18 USC this past Wednesday on the road. USC took advantage of the Utah's lack of depth in the front court and outscored the Utes 54-26 in the paint while also out-rebounding the Utes 51-32 – including a 16-10 edge on the offensive glass.
Despite the loss of Carlson, the Runnin' Utes fought throughout the second half and nearly took it down to single-digits after getting it to 66-53 with 9:22 left in the game. However, USC's length and size in the front court would get the best of Utah and handed the Utes a 93-73 loss in their Pac-12 Opener. Both Gach finished with a career-tying 28 points, 24 of which came in the second frame, while David Jenkins Jr. added 21 points on 5-of-9 from deep. Riley Battin chipped in with 10 points while Lahat Thioune pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds.
Utah will hit the road once again for a neutral-ish game next Wednesday, Dec. 8, at Dickies Arena in Ft. Worth, Texas, against TCU on an ESPN+ broadcast. The Utes lead the all-time series against the former WAC foes 16-4 while riding a seveng-game winning streak against the Horned Frogs.
The Utes inch closer to finishing the non-conference season as they returns home to the Jon M. Huntsman Center to host Manhattan on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. on Pac-12 Network with Krista Blunk and Joe Cravens on the call.
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.