Utah Basketball Seeking Revenge In Road Clash With Colorado

Jan 29, 2021, 6:49 PM
Branden Carlson - Utah Utes vs. Washington Huskies...
Branden Carlson #35 of the Utah Utes shoots a three point basket against the Washington Huskies during the first half at Alaska Airlines Arena on January 24, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah basketball will be looking for revenge when they head to Boulder to face the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday afternoon.

The Utah basketball team lost to Colorado in the first meeting this season back on Monday, January 11, 65-58 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Colorado was led by D’Shawn Scwartz had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Buffs in the win over Utah basketball. Jabari Walker added a double-double off the bench with 15 points and 10 boards. Evan Battey chipped in 10 points and 6 rebounds.

For Utah, Timmy Allen dropped 19 points, while Alfonso Plummer contributed 12 points off the bench. The Utes had a 37-27 lead at the half before being outscored by Colorado 38-21 in the second half.

About Colorado

Colorado enters the matchup with Utah on a two-game winning streak after beating Washington State twice during a 4-day span. They are 13-4 overall and 7-3 in Pac-12 play. The Buffs have knocked off South Dakota, Kansas State, Northern Colorado, Omaha, Washington, Grand Canyon, USC, Oregon, Utah, California, Stanford and Washington State twice. They have lost to Tennessee, Arizona, UCLA and Washington.

McKinley Wright leads the charge for Colorado, averaging 14.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He was held in check in Salt Lake City, scoring just 9 points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field.

Jeriah Horne is their second leading scorer, averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He had four points on four shot attempts in the first meeting against the Utes.

Utah Basketball Has Couple Of Players Stepping Up

After having their roles changed and how they are being used, two Utah basketball players have shined despite the changes. Branden Carlson and Alfonso Plummer were both in the starting lineup earlier this season before a change from Larry Krystkowiak forced them to come off the bench.

For Carlson, he has been a major standout in the last two games for the Runnin’ Utes. Against Washington State on Thursday, January 21, Carlson was back in the starting lineup and recorded a team-high 14 points, along with 10 rebounds and 2 blocks to complete the double-double. Then the sophomore had a career-high 18 points to go with his 5 rebounds and 2 blocks against Washington on Sunday, January 24. When head coach Larry Krystkowiak met with the media on Wednesday afternoon, he talked about how well Carlson has played as of late.

“He’s had a great couple of weeks here for us,” Krystkowiak said. “I think practice wise has led to better performance. He’s started, came off the bench, and he’s back to starting now. I know in speaking with him, his mindset is different. I think that’s part of the college process. You go through enough highs and lows in that, and I think he’s overcome some things and playing in a good place right now and really confident and doing a nice job protecting the rim when he’s on the floor for us defensively, our numbers are really good.”

Meanwhile, Plummer has embraced his role coming off the bench. In the win over Washington State, Plummer had 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-for-5 from beyond the arc. On Sunday versus Washington, Plummer finished with 13 points. He struggled from downtown, shooting just 1-of-5 from the perimeter. Plummer decided to take his game inside and went 4-of-6 from the floor.

“Sometimes coaches made decisions for the best of the team,” Plummer told the media on Wednesday. “You have to stick to it, you have to find the best way to help the team. I feel like it doesn’t matter if I come off the bench or if I start. At the end of the day, I have to help my team the best way possible. Talking about making shots, playing some defense. So I realize I’m gonna stick to it, every game I am going to be ready every time they call my name and just be ready to roll.”

Tip-off between the Utes and Buffaloes will be at 12:30 p.m. MST on Saturday, January 30. The game can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter:Β @TrevorASports.Β You can download and listen to the podcast,Β here.

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Utah Basketball Seeking Revenge In Road Clash With Colorado