Runnin’ Utes Get Worked At Arizona

Feb 16, 2023, 10:08 PM | Updated: Feb 18, 2023, 4:29 pm

TUCSON, AZ – The Runnin’ Utes hit the road to take on No. 8 Arizona at McKale Center and got worked in Tuscon after pushing the Wildcats around in December at the Huntsman Center.

Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong for the Utes with shots not falling and failing to get down the court on defense. Utah fell to Arizona 88-62 only shooting 32% from the field, and 33% from the three while the Wildcats dominated shooting 57% from the field and 50% from the three. Utah doubled Arizona’s turnovers 12-6 and only had about half the assists the Wildcats produced, 12-26.

Despite a bad overall team effort, center Branden Carlson managed to produce some decent numbers leading the team in points with 19 while also brining in three rebounds, one assist and one block. Marco Anthony and Wilguens Jr. Exacte came in second and third with points at 12 and 10. Ben Carlson and Rollie Worster were quiet once more shooting but did lead the team in rebounds (eight for Carlson) and assists (four for Worster).

Utah Versus Arizona First Half

Utah got onto the board for the first time just under the 18-minute mark of the first half after trailing Arizona by 3 to start. Lazar Stefanovic put the Utes on top for the first time of the night 5-3 just a minute or so after the fact.  Marco Anthony helped to keep Utah in the game before the Wildcats regained the lead by one, 8-7 before the first media timeout.

Stefanovic stepped up to the line out of the break nailing two free throws and regaining the lead 9-8 for the Utes after Arizona kicked the ball out of bounds. The Wildcats made little work of making up for their miscue quickly gaining a 15-9 with just under 13 minutes to play.

Branden Carlson helped stem the bleeding with a trip to the line cutting Arizona’s lead, 18-11, but the Wildcats quickly hit a three to extend the score in their favor, 20-11. BC hit a three, but Arizona quickly came through with the jumper making the score, 26-16, in the Wildcat’s favor with under eight to play in the half. At the 7:14 minute mark, Utah head coach Craig Smith called a timeout after the Wildcats hit one more jumper for a 28-16 lead.

Anthony hit a three near the five-minute mark, but Arizona had already been going to work extending their lead out of Utah’s timeout, 35-21. Rollie Worster got his first points of the night before time expired on the half with a long, arching three to make it a 43-31 game.

Utes, Wildcats Second Half

Out of the half the Wildcats wasted not time bullying their way to the board extending their lead, but the Utes quickly answered back to make it a 45-34 affair. Arizona continued their fast burn going 9-0 before Utah hit their next points, 54-37, with 17 minutes left to play.

Out of the break the Utes’ scoring woes continued going on over a two-minute point drought with Arizona up, 59-39. Wilguens Jr. Exacte hit a three around the 12-minute mark, but the Wildcats per usual were quick to answer extending the score, 64-42, before the media break.

Led by Exacte and Anthony, the Utes went on a 12-2 run over two minutes out of the break forcing Arizona to call a timeout. Exacte was good for 10 points off the bench and cutting the Wildcat’s lead to 12, making it a 68-56 game with 8:59 on the clock.

Despite the Utes’ run, the Wildcats stayed calm and pushed forward extending their lead, 72-56 with seven minutes to play. Arizona hit a three on the transition before a timeout was called by the Utes going on a 9-0 run and giving them a comfy 77-56 score.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Runnin’ Utes Get Worked At Arizona