Utah Hoops Picks Up Win Over Cal After Second Half Run

Dec 5, 2021, 5:20 PM
Both Gach - Utah Utes vs. Cal Bears...
Utah guard Both Gach, right, goes past California guard Jalen Celestine during an NCAA game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)
(Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men’s basketball team got back on track with a 66-58 win over the Cal Golden Bears on Sunday afternoon at the Huntsman Center.

It’s the first Pac-12 conference win for Utah head coach Craig Smith. Both Gach led the way with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from the three-point line. Branden Carlson had 12 points and four rebounds. He suffered an ankle injury in the first half of their loss to USC on Wednesday. Lazar Stefanovic added 11 points and six rebounds off the bench.

Jordan Shepherd led the Golden Bears with 14 points. Makale Foreman chipped in 13 points off the bench, and Grant Anticevich posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Both Teams Struggle In First Half Offensively

In the first 10 minutes of the game, it was a real struggle for both teams to make a bucket. Utah and Cal combined for 8-of-30 shooting from the field and 2-for-13 from the three-point line.

Cal started to heat up after that point in the game as they went on a 7-0 run and also had a stretch where they hit seven straight field goals. The Golden Bears had their largest lead of eight with 6:05 remaining in the first half.

Utah was able to stop the bleeding and Cal had a 35-29 lead at the half. Both Gach had 10 points to lead the Utes in the first 20 minutes. They shot just 33% from the field and 18% at the free throw line.

Makale Foreman had a big first half for Cal off the bench, posting 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor and 3-for-4 from downtown. Cal finished the half shooting 50% from the field and 33% from the perimeter.

Utah Hoops Takes Down Cal With Second Half Run

Utah jumped out to a 10-0 run to start the second half and held a four-point lead before Cal scored their first points of the half. Cal went on a scoring drought with under nine minutes remaining in the game. They went two and a half minutes without any points and the Utes were up by six points.

Utah ended up outscoring Cal 37-23 in the second half.

The last four minutes of the game, neither team made a field goal.

Utah improved their record to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in Pac-12 play. They will jump back into non-conference play and will be on the road to face TCU in Fort Worth on Wednesday, December 8 at 6 p.m. MT on ESPN+.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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