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Runnin' Utes Pull Away Late Behind Solid Defense Against Fresno State

Dec 21, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team faced a formidable Fresno State squad Tuesday evening and came out victorious 55-50 behind a balanced offense inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center to wrap up non-conference play.
The Utes headed into halftime down just 23-22 against Fresno State despite not being able to find their rhythm on offense and shot just 30.8-percent as a team - including 2-of-12 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes of action.
Utah had a narrow 11-10 lead at the 11:10 media break but couldn't find the bottom of the basket for 4:29 minutes before Riley Battin found a diving Jaxon Brenchley on the baseline for the lay-in to bring Utah within 19-15 of the Bulldogs.

Back-to-back free throws from Lahat Thioune followed by a long jumper from Lazar Stefanovic gave Utah (8-4, 1-1 Pac-12) a short 22-21 advantage before Orlando Robinson put FSU on top 23-22 heading into the break.
There was a lot of back-and-forth action to start the second half, including a stretch where Thioune scored on three-consecutive possessions to keep Utah in lockstep with the Bulldogs (9-3). Down 35-33 at the 12:31 media break, a critical 3-pointer from Rollie Worster gave Utah the 36-35 lead. A 5-0 spurt shortly thereafter capped off by a triple from David Jenkins Jr. put the Utes ahead 41-36.

After Fresno State's Anthony Holland put FSU back on top 45-43 with 5:46 left to play, Utah's defense clamped down and held the Bulldogs without a field-goal until Robinson's 3-ball with :41 seconds cut the Utes' lead down to 53-48. However, it was too little too late for Fresno State as Utah closed out the game with a 55-50 victory and wrapped up its non-conference slate 7-3.
Marco Anthony led the Utes with 11 points and six rebounds while Lahat Thioune added 10 points and six rebounds in his first start of the season.

Utah is now 12-4 all-time against Fresno State – including a three game winning-streak … the Utes are now 11-4 all-time against the Bulldogs inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center … Craig Smith is now 7-1 against FSU in his career …  the 6 steals Tuesday night is a season-high for the Utes, previous high was five - which they tallied five times … Lazar Stefanovic made his second-straight start on the year against Fresno State.

Utah will have a few days to rest before hitting the Pac-12 slate in full swing, starting with Oregon State on Thursday, Dec. 30, before closing out the road trip at Oregon on Saturday, Dec. 1. Both games are set to air on Pac-12 Networks.
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.