Still smarting from its first loss of the season Wednesday night in Seattle, the Utah basketball team will meet Santa Clara tonight at the Huntsman Center.

Coach Jim Boylen lamented the fact that they won't be going to New York for the NIT semifinals this week.

"I really wanted these guys to go to New York," he said.

Instead, the Utes will have more time to practice. But first they have a chance to get back in the winning column against the Broncos.

"We're pumped and ready to take out that loss (to Washington) on them," said Utah's Luke Nevill.

Santa Clara (2-1) is coming off a 67-54 loss to Nevada on Saturday night. They opened the season with wins over Division II Cal State-Monterey 66-49 and NAIA's Simpson University 82-55.

The Broncos are led by center John Bryant, not to be confused with Ute guard Johnnie Bryant. The Broncos' Bryant is 6-foot-10 and 305 pounds and is averaging 25.0 points and 9.0 rebounds a game this season.

The other starters are guard Calvin Johnson (14.0 ppg), Mitch Henke (8.0), Brody Angley (7.7) and Ben Dowdell (4.2).

The Utes are expected to go with the same starting lineup as the first three games, with Nevill (14.7 ppg) at center, Shaun Green (2.3) and Stephen Weigh (14.0) at forwards and Tyler Kepkay (7.3) and Lawrence Borha (13.0) at guards.

Johnnie Bryant, who actually played more minutes than Kepkay against Washington, will play a lot off the bench along with Luka Drca and Kim Tillie, who fouled out in just nine minutes at Washington.

Santa Clara has a new coach this year in Kerry Keating.

After losing to Nevada, Keating said, "I am obviously disappointed in the result. We did not take care of the ball well enough to win. We need to execute more consistently coming up against Utah and try to get a road win."

Utes on the air

Santa Clara (2-1) at Utah (2-1)

Huntsman Center; Today, 7 p.m.

TV: None; Radio: 700AM


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