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.