Utah Basketball Seeks Revenge Against Cal In Late Afternoon Clash

Feb 9, 2021, 6:40 PM
Timmy Allen - Utah Utes vs. Cal...
Utah Utes forward Timmy Allen. (Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah men’s basketball team will look for revenge when they travel to face Cal in the Bay Area on Thursday afternoon.

Utah lost to Cal in their first meeting this season when the Golden Bears scored 50 points in the second half to complete the comeback.

That was back in January when the team lost 5 of 6 during that stretch. This is a different Utah team that on a two-game winning streak with a pair of wins over really good teams.

The loss to Cal in January still sticks in the back of the mind of Larry Krystkowiak but is using it as an experience to learn from.

“We made a lot of mistakes, there’s plenty of mistakes for us to take a look at,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said on Tuesday. “Let that game slip away, we didn’t make enough plays offensively, we had a lot of mishaps defensively and kind of get what you deserve when you don’t put enough positive plays together. Hopefully, that’s a learning experience. Some of the video clips that we’re using throughout this week are clips from that game. Matt Bradley didn’t play in that first game and he’s an all-conference type of player. There are some things that are setting up a little bit differently, but you can certainly use past experiences to help you in the next one.”

About Cal

In that January meeting in Salt Lake City, Cal trailed Utah by 12 points at halftime. The Golden Bears exploded for 50 points in the second half and the Runnin’ Utes scored just 29 points.

Grant Anticevich led the Bears with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Makale Foreman had 12 points, while both Andre Kelly and Jarred Hyder added 11 points. Timmy Allen and Pelle Larsson were the only Utes in double figures. Allen posted 26 points, while Larsson chipped in 12.

Cal is currently 7-14 overall and 2-12 in Pac-12 play. They have lost six straight games. Their last win was against Utah in Salt Lake City. Since then, Cal lost to UCLA, USC, Arizona State, Arizona and Stanford twice.

Matt Bradley is their leading scorer, averaging 18.4 points per game, shooting 45 percent from the field and 38 percent from the three-point line. Andre Kelly is the only other Bears player averaging double figures at 10 points per game.

Utah Playing Really Good Basketball Recently

It’s been an up and down roller coaster for Utah basketball in conference play. They started out with four straight losses before beating Stanford by 14 at home. Then they suffered a disappointing loss to Cal. Utah then went on the road and snapped a 13-game road losing streak with a win over Washington State. Just when Utah was looking to turn the corner, they lost to Washington, who was last in the conference.

Colorado had Utah up against the ropes in Boulder before Alfonso Plummer scored 23 points in the second half to knock off the Buffaloes. Then when Arizona came to town, that was when the Runnin’ Utes put together a complete performance. It was just the third time since Utah joined the Pac-12 that they beat the Wildcats. The 15-point victory was the largest margin over Arizona since the 1998 Elite 8 when they won by 25 points.

As they head down the home stretch, Utah is facing a tough challenge ahead. Road contests at California and Stanford before going to the Oregon schools. They will return home for the final three games of the regular season against Oregon State, UCLA and USC. On top of that, Utah still needs to reschedule two games against Arizona State.

Tip-off between Utah and California will be at 4 p.m. MST on Thursday, February 11 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: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Utah Basketball Seeks Revenge Against Cal In Late Afternoon Clash