Men's Basketball Opens Weekend Set Against Washington Thursday Night
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team returns home and looks to get back on the win column as it welcomes in Washington for a Thursday night bout inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center at 7: 30 p.m. (MT).
Todd Harris will have the call between the Runnin' Utes and Huskies while Don MacLean serves as the analyst in the Pac-12 Network broadcast.
#STAYHAT AND READY
Junior center Lahat Thioune has settled in nicely for the Utes and has taken full advantage of the opportunity on the court with injuries among the frontcourt players. In the last five games, Thioune is averaging 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds with 10 assists. His 8.4 points average is tied for fourth-highest during that five-game stretch with Both Gach. In addition, the Dakar, Senegal, native has also led the team in shooting-percentage during that five-game stretch with a .682 clip (15-for-22).
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Washington played its first Pac-12 game this past Monday at Arizona, falling 95-79 inside the McKale Center. The Huskies head into Thursday's contest 5-6 overall and 0-1 in league play after having their early December conference games postponed due to COVID-19.
Veteran guard Terrell Brown Jr. continues to lead Washington this season averaging 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists while also pacing the team with a .464 shooting clip and 26 steals. His 22.0 points per game the fourth highest in the country while his 2.36 steals average is good for 13th in the nation.
Meanwhile, Emmitt Mathews Jr. is averaging 11.4 points and 5.0 rebounds for UW while PJ Fuller is averaging 10.0 points and 2.0 rebounds. Jamal Bey is right on the cusp and averaging 9.1 points and 4.6 rebounds. The trio of Mathews Jr., Fuller and Bey are tied for a team-high 14 triples. Big man Nate Roberts paces the team with 6.5 boards per game to go with his .452 shooting clip and 3.5 points average.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite a 35-29 lead at the half thanks to the half court heave from Branden Carlson, the Utah men's basketball team couldn't contain a hot-shooting Oregon Ducks squad in the second half and fell 79-66. The Ducks finished the game shooting 55.6-percent from the field and 64.3-percent from the floor in the second-half – including 6-of-8 from deep in the final 20 minutes of action while Utah was just 2-of-9 in the second frame.
Branden Carlson looked much more like himself against Oregon in just his second game back since coming off health & safety protocol to lead the team with 15 points and six rebounds to go with two blocks. Marco Anthony wasn't far off from Carlson, posting 14 points and eight rebounds with a pair of steals while Lazar Stefanovic chipped in with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Utah closes out the short homestand with a battle against Washington State this Saturday, Jan. 8, at 4 p.m. (MT). Krista Blunk on the call alongside former veteran head coach Mike Montgomery on Pac-12 Networks as the Runnin' Utes put their 13-game winning-streak against the Cougars on the line.
Utah will get another chance to pick up a road win in Pac-12 play the following week as it travels to the Valley of the Sun to take on Arizona State and Arizona. The Utes will first face the Sun Devils on Thursday, Jan. 13, followed by the Wildcats on Saturday, Jan. 15. 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 www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.