Runnin’ Utes Upset No. 6 Kentucky In Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The University of Utah men’s basketball team was able to escape Las Vegas with a 69-66 win over No. 6 Kentucky.
It’s the first win over the Wildcats for the Utes since December 18, 1976. Also, Utah picked up their first win over a ranked opponent since 2016 when they knocked off Arizona at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Timmy Allen led all scorers with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, while shooting 8-15 from the field and 9-12 from the free throw line.
VICTORY!! UTES TAKE DOWN NO. 6 KENTUCKY!
🔴 69 | 🔵66 #GoUtes🏀🔴 pic.twitter.com/pA6kl5CYW7
— Utah Basketball🏀 (@UtahMBB) December 19, 2019
The Utes held a 17 point lead early in the second half, but allowed Kentucky to get back into the game as the game was tied at 66 with under one minute remaining. After Allen made a jump shot to put the Utes up by two points, a foul was called initially on Riley Battin, who attempted to take a charge. After the officials reviewed the call, they reversed it and called it an offensive foul.
On the ensuing possession for Utah, Jones was fouled and made one of his two attempts at the free throw line to stretch the lead to three. Kentucky had an open look at a three-pointer but missed and when the ball bounced off the backboard, it was loose on the floor. A Wildcat player landed on it and called their last timeout. On the inbound pass, Kentucky had an open look in the corner but missed and the Utes prevailed.
The only time that Kentucky had a lead in the game was 2-0 early in the first half.
Both Gach chipped in 14 points, scoring the first 10 points for the Utes in the first half. Jones made his return to the starting lineup after missing the Weber State game with a rib injury. He finished with 12 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 3-4 from the three point line. Riley Battin posted 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
The Utes shot 23-42 (54%) from the field, 8-15 (53%) from deep and 15-23 from the free throw line.
Kentucky was led by Tyrese Maxey with 18 points, Ashton Hagans scored 16 points. The team shot 41 percent from the field, and just 2-17 from the three point line.
Utah picked up the win despite committing 17 turnovers and forcing just 12 Kentucky miscues.
The Utes improved their record to 9-2 on the season. They will finish non-conference play at Staples Center on Saturday against No. 20 San Diego State. The game will tip-off at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.
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