Utah Basketball Sweeps Road Trip With Win Over Cal

Feb 19, 2022, 6:21 PM
Marco Anthony - Utah Utes vs. Abilene Christian...
Utah Utes guard Marco Anthony (10) dunks on Abilene Christian Wildcats guard Stevie Smith (13) at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah men’s basketball team swept the Northern California road trip with a 60-58 win over Cal on Saturday afternoon.

With the win over Cal, Utah basketball swept the Northern California trip for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Marco Anthony was the only Utah player to reach double figures with 13 points. Rollie Worster and Branden Carlson each had eight points in the win.

For Cal, Lars Thiemann led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds. Their best player Jordan Shepherd was held to 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting from the field.

Utah Basketball Gets Momentum In First Half Off Of Big Run

It was a sluggish start for Utah as Cal jumped out to an 11-6 lead early. But the Runnin’ Utes bounced back and went on an 11-0 run to take a 17-13 lead at the midway point of the first half.

Utah went through a scoring drought that lasted three minutes but their defense kept them ahead of Cal, heading down the stretch of the first half. After another two-minute scoreless stretch for Utah, they went into the halftime break with a 32-24 lead.

Marco Anthony had 10 points to lead the Runnin’ Utes. Lahat Thioune added six points off the bench. Utah shot 43% from the field and just 1-for-6 from the three-point line.

Lars Thiemann led the Golden Bears with eight points. Cal shot 41% from the floor and just 1-for-5 from downtown.

Runnin’ Utes Grind Out Win Over Cal

After taking their biggest lead of the game of 43-31 in the second half, Utah went cold, making just one of their last seven field goal attempts and not making a shot in over six minutes.

Cal stormed back and was within four points, 47-43 on a 12-4 run before Branden Carlson made a layup. The Runnin’ Utes extended the lead back to 10 with under six minutes remaining.

Cal made another run and pulled within four with four minutes left. Branden Carlson had to leave the game with an injury and it might’ve been at the worst time. With under two minutes to go, Riley Battin made a nice midrange fadeaway jumper.  Utah was up 57-53 with 40 seconds remaining when the Golden Bears hit both of their free throws.

Lazar Stefanovic made both of his free throws on the other end to make it a two-possession game with 11 seconds left. Celestine nailed a triple to get Cal within one point with four seconds left. Marco Anthony split his two free throws to make it a two-point game. Jordan Shepherd missed the deep three to potentially win the game.

Utah improved their record to 11-16 overall and 4-13 in Pac-12 play. They will return to the Jon M. Huntsman Center to face Arizona on Thursday, February 24 at 9 p.m. MT on FS1.

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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