Utah and Tulsa are set to square off in the Sunshine Slam bracket one title game on Sunday night after the Utes and Golden Hurricane were both victorious in their tournament openers on Saturday.
Utah (4-0) remained unbeaten with a 68-61 victory against Boston College. Branden Carlson and David Jenkins Jr. each had 13 points apiece as the Utes held off a late charge from the Eagles.
After trailing 32-30 at halftime, the Utes took the lead for good at 41-39 on Marco Anthony's jumper with 16:02 to play. BC pulled within 64-61 in the closing minute before Riley Battin sank four free throws in the final 14 seconds to seal the win.
"It was a good win for us," first-year Utah coach Craig Smith said. "A lot of things didn't go our way. Some of that was self-inflicted, some of that is a credit to (BC). ... We had to make some adjustments, which I was proud of our guys for doing that."
Tulsa (3-1) pulled away for a 77-71 win over Rhode Island in its opener behind a game-high 21 points from Sam Griffin.
Jeriah Horne had 17 points while Tim Dalger added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Golden Hurricane, who overcame a seven-point deficit midway through the second half and took the lead for good with 6:48 to play. Tulsa shot 49.2% from the field against the Rams.
It was the second straight victory for Tulsa after suffering its lone loss in a 59-58 heartbreaker against Air Force on Nov. 13.
Utah owns a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series against Tulsa. The teams last met on Dec. 1, 2018 when the Utes earned a 69-64 win in Salt Lake City. Tulsa won the previous meeting 69-60 on March 24, 2008 in Oklahoma.
--Field Level Media