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Carlson Powers Utah Basketball Past Cagey Bengals Monday Night with Career-High 26 Points

Nov 14, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball had its first test of the season Monday night against a solid Idaho State squad and weathered the storm behind a career-high 26 points from Branden Carlson in its 70-58 victory over the Bengals inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Gabe Madsen started the game exactly where he left off last Friday, hitting a 3-pointer to open the battle and had eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from deep in the first half. Utah (3-0) took control of the game from the tip and went out to a 10-6 lead at the first media break before the Bengals tied things up at 10-10 and 13-13 ahead of Utah taking a 28-19 thanks to Branden Carlson coming in from the low block to grab a missed free-throw out of the air for the two-handed jam.

Idaho State's 3-point shooting kept it within striking distance and forced a Utah timeout with 4:27 remaining in the first half before the Utes went into the locker room with a narrow 38-31 lead.
The first half of the second frame was a little shaky for the Runnin' Utes as it saw Idaho State (1-2) slowly dig into its lead possession by possession, bringing the Utah lead down to single digits every time. With Utah ahead 52-44 and 11:55 to go, Idaho State came out of the media timeout knocking down three-consecutive 3-pointers to get within 53-52 with 9:39 remaining.
However, the Utes responded with a 17-6 run to close out the game – which was jumpstarted behind six-straight points from Carlson – including a thunderous two-handed jam down the baseline. Of the 17 points for Utah in the final 9:39, Carlson accounted for 11 of them.  

The 7-0 center finished with a game-high 26 points, nine rebounds and four blocks to nearly miss out on his second double-double in three games. Madsen was also just shy of a double-double himself, scoring eight points with a career-high eight rebounds.

Mike Saunders Jr. chipped in with nine points and four rebounds off the bench while Luka Tarlac had eight points on 4-of-4 shooting with four boards and a steal in his collegiate debut.
Luka Tarlac made his collegiate debut on Monday, checking in at the 11:44 mark of the first half and scored his first-career basket with 7:58 left to go … Utah won the battle of the boards 44-29 and won the battle in the paint 38-26 … the last time Utah started a season 3-0 back-to-back seasons was 2016-18 ... Runnin' Ute alum and current New York Knicks Associate Head Coach Johnnie Bryant was at the game ahead of the Knicks taking on the Utah Jazz. 

Utah closes out its four-game homestand this Thursday, Nov. 17, against Sam Houston for its home game as part of the Ft. Myers Tip-Off MTE. Tip-off between the Runnin' Utes and Bearkats is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Mountain with Krista Blunk and Dan Belluomini on the call.
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.