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3 keys to the Utah Utes’ 89-56 win over Sacramento State

SHARE 3 keys to the Utah Utes’ 89-56 win over Sacramento State
Utah Utes guard Rollie Worster shoots the ball

Utah Utes guard Rollie Worster (25) drives against Sacramento State Hornets guard Zach Chappell (4) at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

The Utah Runnin’ Utes improved to 2-0 to start the season with an 89-56 win over Sacramento State at the Huntsman Center on Saturday.

Here are three keys to the Utes’ win:

  • Utah center Branden Carlson scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Utes. Carlson was 8-for-10 from the field, 3-for-5 from the free-throw line and made two 3-pointers. He added two blocks, two assists and a rebound.
  • Coach Craig Smith has placed emphasis on defense and rebounds, and the Utes delivered on both fronts on Saturday. They outrebounded Sacramento State 58-29 and held the Hornets to 31% shooting.
  • After Sacramento State cut Utah’s lead to as little as six points with 2:48 remaining in the first half, the Utes responded with a 9-0 run to close the half. The run was the key for Utah, which entered halftime up 45-30 and Sacramento State never got closer than 16 in the second half.