Short-Handed Utes Fall to Mizzou Late on Saturday
COLUMBIA, Mo. – A short-handed Utah men's basketball men's basketball team battled Missouri for a full 40 minutes but ultimately fell down the stretch, 83-75, Saturday night in Mizzou Arena.
A lot of action in the first half between the Utes and Tigers saw 12 lead changes throughout the first 20 minutes of action. Utah got things going early in the from deep, hitting 6-of-13 from down range - three of which came from David Jenkins Jr.
As well as the Runnin' Utes were shooting from 3-point land (.460), Utah (7-4, 1-1 Pac-12) committed nine turnovers to Mizzou's two but was still able to hold a narrow 33-32 lead heading into the break.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Mizzou take its first lead of the game since the 12:25 mark in the first half (19-18). Several lead changes later, Utah regained the edge at 13:03 on a bucket from Rollie Worster before Marco Anthony gave the Runnin' Utes the advantage for the next two-plus minutes.
After a quick 5-0 run by Missouri (6-5) tied things up at 60-60, Anthony connected with Gabe Madsen for a corner 3-pointer to put the Utes on top heading into the 7:54 media break. The Tigers retook the lead from Utah out of that break behind a 9-3 run before Anthony was able to knock down a contested baseline jumper that led to a Craig Smith timeout with 3:53 left to play.
However, Missouri's Kobe Brown continued to wreak havoc on the Utah defense and scored 12-straight point to give the home team the 75-71 lead before the Utes called a timeout with 1:48 on the clock. Both Gach hit both of his free throws out of the timeout to get Utah within 75-73 with 1:01 to play but Jarron Coleman hit a dagger 3-pointer with 32 ticks on the clock before Missouri closed the game out and hand Utah the 83-75 loss.
Jenkins Jr. led the Utes with 18 points 4-of-6 from 3-point range while Anthony finished with a season-high 16 points with eight rebounds. Gach added 15 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Utes.
BY THE NUMBERS
Lazar Stefanovic made his first-career start on Saturday against the Tigers … the Utes have now lost 4 of their last 5 games where they've lost the rebounding battle … Utah was much better with the ball in the second half, committing just 3 turnovers for a total of 12 the entire game … Utah struggled late and didn't hit a field-goal in the final: 3:04 after Gach hit a 3-pointer with 3:05 on the clock.
Utah returns home to the friendly confines of the Jon M. Huntsman Center to close out its non-conference slate next Tuesday, Dec. 21, against Fresno State. Todd Harris and Ernie Kent will have the call on the Pac-12 Network broadcast as the two former WAC foes duke it out once again.
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.