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3 keys to the Runnin’ Utes’ 66-58 win over visiting California

Utah guard Both Gach (2) dunks during an NCAA game against the California Golden Bears.
Utah guard Both Gach (2) dunks during an NCAA game against the California Golden Bears at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021.
Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News

Injury depleted Utah gutted out a nice win over the Cal Golden Bears in their Pac-12 home opener Sunday afternoon as Both Gach led the way with 19 points and six rebounds when some other starters struggled to hit shots.

The Utes played without Marco Anthony again, but Branden Carlson returned after spraining his right ankle against Southern Cal on Wednesday and chipped in 12 points and four rebounds.

Here are 3 keys to Utah’s 66-58 win over California:

  • After missing eight of their first nine shots, the Utes settled in and started clicking better offensively in the second half. Trailing 35-29 at halftime, Utah opened the second half on a 12-0 run and never trailed after that.
  • With second-leading scorer David Jenkins Jr. struggling on 1 of 9 shooting, Gach picked up where he left off in the 93-73 loss to USC, scoring a team-high 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting for the Utes.
  • Freshman Lazar Stefanovic had his best game as a Ute, scoring 11 points off the bench and adding five rebounds and three assists. Stefanovic made three of six 3-point attempts.