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Runnin' Utes Show Resilience, Fight Back to Defeat Georgia Tech

Nov 21, 2022

FT. MYERS, Fla. – The Utah men's basketball showed grit Monday evening in its opening game of the Ft. Myers Tip-Off tournament fighting back late in the second half to defeat a surging Georgia Tech team in the second half 68-64 inside Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
The Runnin' Utes started the game well, jumping out to a 19-4 lead with 11:49 left to play in the half after Marco Anthony connected on his and-1. A pair of free throws followed by a short jumper from Branden Carlson saw Utah push its lead to 23-4. However, Georgia Tech ramped thing up on both ends of the floor and cut the lead down to 23-14 before a deep 3-pointer from Gabe Madsen put an end to Utah's scoring drought.
Georgia Tech continued to claw at the Utah lead and got as close as 36-28 heading into the break thanks to Kyle Sturdivant's 3-pointer with 28 seconds remaining. Despite Utah (4-1) shooting 48-percent from the field in the opening frame (12-of-25), 11 turnovers saw the Yellow Jackets turn that into a 12-2 edge in points off turnovers to get within single digit of the Utes.
Utah's lead slowly dwindled with the Yellow Jackets (3-1) picking up where they left off at the end of the first half and took the lead behind an 11-0 run to force a Utah timeout with 11:52 left to play. The Runnin' Utes continued to battle despite losing their lead in the second half and slowly chipped away to tie the game up four separate times in a three-minute span.

Rollie Worster tied things up for the fourth and final time with 5:48 left to play when he drained a 3-pointer, 57-57, to start a 7-0 run that forced Georgia Tech to call a timeout (4:16) with Utah on top 61-57. The scoring then went back-and-forth to keep the Yellow Jackets within one possession.
After a Deivon Smith converted on an and-1 with 39 ticks left to go, Utah's shot attempt with the shot clock winding down just missed and led to a fast break by the Yellow Jackets. However, a slew of Utes were able to scramble back on defense to snub the possibility of Georgia Tech tying things up. Madsen ultimately came down with the rebound with 1.7 second left on the clock and sealed the victory after knocking down both free throws.

Madsen closed the night with a game-high 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting with five boards and four assists to lead a group of five Utes in double-figures. Lazar Stefanovic and Anthony finished with 11 points and four rebounds apiece. Worster finished with 10 points of his own with four rebounds while Carlson rounded things out with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Utes pulled off the victory despite committing 19 turnovers that led to a 24-6 in points off turnovers for Georgia Tech … it was the first time Utah won a game with at least 19 turnovers and single-digit assists since Jan. 7, 2022 at St. Mary's … also first win for Utah since Nov. 15, 2019, when it forced less than five turnovers … win is also the second time in as many seasons the Utes have defeated an ACC team in a non-conference tournament – Utah wound up winning that tournament (Sunshine Slam, 2021).
The Utes now play the waiting game and will play the winner between Mississippi State and Marquette in the championship game of the Ft. Myers Tip-Off on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 6:30 p.m. (MT) on FS1 with Brandon Gaudin and Bill Raftery 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.