Utah Tech Takes on Utah Valley on Saturday
One of the biggest local college basketball games of the year is this Saturday in St. George.
Here's the press release from UT Athletics Media Relations: (link to full article)
Who | Utah Tech (3-3) vs Utah Valley (5-2)
When | Saturday, Dec. 2 – 7 p.m.
Where | Burns Arena – St. George, Utah
Scouting the Opponent
Coming off a 78-72 victory over Seattle U on Wednesday, the Utah Valley Wolverines boast a 5-2 record that also includes wins over Sam Houston and Southern Mississippi. Currently shooting 44.9% from the field as a team, UVU shot a season-high 38 free throws against Seattle U on Wednesday, converting at a 78.9% clip. Three players are averaging double-figure scoring while the 7'0" Trevin Dorius leads the team in rebounding (7.7) and blocks (1.4).
Utah Valley holds a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series, having won both games last season, including a 76-69 victory in St. George on Feb. 2, 2023.
In the Rotation
After playing limited minutes in the early parts of the season, Unisa Turay and Caleb Stearman found their way on to the court regularly against Washington State and Lindenwood. Stearman set new career-best marks for minutes played in both games, playing nine minutes against WSU before earning 14:31 of game time against LU. For Turay, who spent a total of 14 minutes on the court across three previous appearances, that meant 17:06 of game time against the Cougars of Washington State and 17:25 in Monday's win against Lindenwood.
Move the Ball
Central to the Trailblazers' run that built a lead as large as 20 points against the Lions was ball movement. Aric Demings (five assists) set a new single game high in his young career while Jaylen Searles (six assists) came within one assist of his career high of seven. After the game, Head Coach Jon Judkins acknowledged the importance of that ball movement.
"We started out with that big lead and got there because we were defending and sharing the ball," Coach Judkins said. "We had something like nine assists in those first 12 minutes."
Feed the Post
Having scored just five points in the opening 20 minutes against Lindenwood, Tanner Christensen had a huge second half to help lead Utah Tech to its third victory in 2023. The 6-10 forward/center scored 15 of his game-high 20 points in the final frame, including a pair of clutch free throws with 1:02 on the clock to extend Utah Tech's lead to seven.
Now in his second season playing at UT, Christensen is currently averaging 13.7 points and a team-leading 8.0 rebounds per game while shooting 56.9% from the field and 40.0% from deep.
For more information about the game click the link above to take you to the game preview!
We'll see you at the game!
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Gallery Credit: Kyle Matthews