Mon, 24 Jan 2022

Utah's strong start to second half secures win over Cal

Field Level Media
06 Dec 2021, 10:19 GMT+10

Utah erased a halftime deficit by scoring the first 10 points after intermission and the Utes used a barrage of 3-pointers to hold on for a 66-58 Pacific-12 Conference victory over visiting California in Salt Lake City on Sunday afternoon.

Both Gach had a game-high 19 points and Lazar Stefanovic scored 11 for the Utes (6-2, 1-1 Pac-12), each contributing three 3-pointers to an 8-for-25 team effort.

Jordan Shepherd went for 14 points and Makale Foreman totaled 13 off the bench to pace the Golden Bears (4-5, 1-1), who hit just four of their 20 3-point tries and were outscored 24-12 from beyond the arc.

Cal led 35-29 at halftime, but the advantage didn't last long. Branden Carlson and Gach drilled 3-pointers, while Rollie Worster and Gach added two-point baskets in a 10-0, period-opening flurry that put Utah on top for good at 39-35.

A layup by Shepherd kept the Golden Bears within 47-45 with 11:18 still to play, but Stefanovic connected on his second and third 3-pointers of the half, sandwiching a 3 by Riley Battin, as Utah ran off to a 58-49 advantage.

Seeking a second straight conference win after opening with a home victory over Oregon State, Cal wouldn't go away. Again it was a Shepherd layup that brought the Golden Bears within arm's length at 58-54 with 4:45 to go.

However, Cal missed its final nine shots, including four 3-point attempts. The Utes, seeking to avoid an 0-2 Pac-12 start after falling to Southern Cal earlier in the week, were able to pull away at the free throw line.

Carlson dropped in four foul shots in the final 1:50 to join Gach and Stefanovic in double figures with 12 points.

Lahat Thioune also played a role in the win with eight points, a team-high-tying six rebounds and two steals.

Grant Anticevich aided Cal's cause with 12 points, but the Golden Bears, who outshot the Utes 40.4 percent to 38.3 percent, couldn't overcome the 12-point disparity in scoring from behind the 3-point line.

Anticevich also found time to complete a double-double with a game-high 10 rebounds.

--Field Level Media

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