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Men's Basketball Can't Hold Off Buffs Late

Feb 12, 2022

BOULDER, Colo. – Despite career-high numbers from Branden Carlson and a second-straight double-double from Marco Anthony, the Utah men's basketball team wasn't able to fend off a second-half surge from Colorado and fell 81-76 Saturday night inside the CU Events Center.
Carlson had a hot start to the game, scorings six-straight points before going 4-for-5 from the field to give Utah the 10-7 lead at the 14:10 media break. Lazar Stefanovic then scored his second-straight basket when Riley Battin backed his man down on the far block to draw the secondary defender and found a wide open Stefanovic cutting to the rack for the 14-10 edge.
The Carlson clinic continued as the 7-0 center scored 10 of the next 11 points for Utah, including back-to-back 3-pointers to force a CU timeout (8:14) with Utah ahead 25-14. A scoring drought by the Utes (9-16, 2-13 Pac-12) then saw Colorado mount a comeback and get within 36-33 of Utah at the half. Carlson finished the first 20 minutes of action tying his career-high with 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting – including 2-of-3 from down range.

The second frame started out with none other than Carlson with a nice hook in the paint before Gabe Madsen went off from 3-point range, knocking down 3-of-4 to force another Colorado timeout (15:43). The Buffs (15-9, 7-7 Pac-12) slowly crept back and made it a one possession game by the 11:56 timeout with Utah on top just 54-47. Colorado forced a Utah timeout at the 9:34 mark after a 3-pointer from K.J. Simpson cut Utah's lead back down to 59-54.

The offensive surge for CU continued to attack the Utah defense and got the foul line several times to take a 66-65 lead after Jabari Walker hit the fourth-straight free-throw for the Buffs before Rollie Worster converted on a beautiful reverse lay-up. However, a lay-up by Walker on the other end saw Utah trail 68-67 heading into the final media time out (3:33).

Colorado then went on a 6-0 before to go up 73-67 to hold a two-possession lead against the Utes before a huge bucket from Anthony with 28 seconds left made it 75-73. With the clock winding down in those last 28 ticks, CU went 6-of-6 from the line and 18-of-20 in the second half to seal the victory against Utah.
Carlson finished with a season-high 25 points with eight rebounds on 11-of-19 shooting. Anthony posted his second-straight double with 15 points and 12 rebounds – 10 of which came on the offensive end. Madsen finished with 14 points while Worster chipped in with 12 points.
Carlson's 21 points in the first half made him the fourth play on Saturday in the Pac-12 to score 20-plus in any single-half with only two games completed on the day so far … Carlson finished with # field-goals, the last Ute to make 10-plus in a single game was Both Gach earlier this season at USC (10) … Utah turned 14 Colorado turnovers into a 15-2 edge in points off turnovers … the Utes also outscored CU 42-30 in points in the paint but was outscored 20-8 in fast break points … Utah went 5-for-5 from the line in the second half while Colorado was 18-of-20 from the stripe.
Utah remains on the road next week as it heads to the Bay Area to wrap up its final road swing of the regular-season. The Utes first face Stanford on Thursday, Feb. 17, before closing out the road trip with California on Saturday, Feb. 19. Roxy Bernstein will have the call between the Runnin' Utes and Cardinal while Adrian Branch serves as the analyst on ESPNU at 9 p.m. (MT).
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.