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Runnin' Utes Hang on to Defeat Cal on the Road, Completes Bay Area Sweep

Feb 19, 2022
Photo Courtesy: Robert Edwards

BERKELEY, Calif. – The University of Utah men's basketball team hung on late Saturday afternoon to pick up its first road sweep of the Bay Area teams since 2018-19 after securing the 60-58 win over California inside Haas Pavilion.
The victory also marked the first time Utah won consecutive road games in Pac-12 play since beating the LA schools in 2019.
First half started a bit slow for both teams before Marco Anthony and Both Gach connected on back-to-back and-1 plays for the Utes to jump-start an 11-0 run. Both Anthony and Gach accounted for the first 12 points of the game for Utah before Riley Battin's lay-up and 3-pointer from Gabe Madsen put the Runnin' Utes on top 17-13 at the 9:21 mark.

Anthony continued his tear on the Golden Bears (11-17, 4-13 Pac-12) and converted on his second and-1 of the afternoon for 10 first-half points before Branden Carlson gave Utah a 28-18 lead on the next possession. Lahat Thioune gave Utah the 32-24 edge into the break after picking up the offensive board, Utah's fifth of the half, and scored with a nice hook shot on the opposite block.
Both teams went back-and-forth early in the second-half as Utah headed into the first media break (15:14) on top 39-30 before an offensive rebound from Anthony led to a great drive to the rack for Jaxon Brenchley. Gach then knocked down both free throws after the Utes (11-16, 4-13 Pac-12) were able to force a turnover and extend their lead to 43-33 with 11:32 to go.
Cal slowly cut into the Utah lead with a little help from the Utes, who went on a 6-plus minute stretch without a basket before Carlson backed his defender down for the lay-in to make it 49-43 in favor of the Utes. After a 6-0 run by Utah to take the 53-43 lead, Cal answered with an 8-2 run to get within 55-51 of Utah with 3:34 remaining.

A hard drive to the hole by Worster out of the timeout gave Utah the 57-51 lead before Cal made it a one possession game on the heels of four-straight free throws – 57-55. With 11.9 seconds to play, Lazar Stefanovic knocked down a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game (59-55). However, Jalen Celestine kept the Golden Bears alive when he drained a long 3-pointer on the opposite wing with 5.0 ticks left to go. Anthony was fouled on the inbounds and kept Cal's hopes alive when he hit 1-of-2 from at the charity stripe before Jordan Shepherd's half-court heave missed the mark.

Anthony finished with a  team-high 13 points, four rebounds and four assists while Worster scored eight points and also tying his season-high in rebounds with seven boards. Carlson also chipped in with eight points and five rebounds.
Utah returns home to close out the regular-season with a three-game homestand starting with #3/4 Arizona in the second half of a double-header on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 9 p.m. (MT) on FS1 after the women's game against Oregon State (5:30 p.m.). That game will also serve as a Military Appreciation Game for both the men and women's teams as they don their customized Under Armour USS Sale Lake City jerseys. The Runnin' Utes will then play host to Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. (MT) in another double-header day with the women's team taking on Oregon at 1 p.m.
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.