It wasn’t bad. I mean it’s a good starting point for us. I thought we played pretty hard overall —Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak
SALT LAKE CITY — It wasn’t Game 7 of the World Series. Not even close.
However, for Utah basketball fans Wednesday’s exhibition game between the Runnin’ Utes and Montana Tech was a bit of a hit.
Sedrick Barefield and David Collette each scored 15 points as Utah prevailed 95-45 before an announced crowd of 9,097 (many disguised as red seats) in the Huntsman Center.
“It wasn’t bad. I mean it’s a good starting point for us,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak.”I thought we played pretty hard overall.”
The Utes opened the game with a line-up of Collette, Barefield, Justin Bibbins, Gabe Bealer and Tyler Rawson.
As expected, Utah took the lead away from the Orediggers early and rolled to victory.
Bealer, Bibbins and Rawson each scored two points in a 6-0 run that erased a 3-2 deficit and put the Utes on top for good. They went on to extend their lead to double-digits with a burst of 11 straight points to make it 29-11. Barefield powered that spurt with six points.
Montana Tech, an NAIA school in Butte, didn’t put up much of a fight.
Utah led 51-17 at halftime despite shooting just 4 of 14 from 3-point range. Barefield led all scorers with 15 points at the break. He also had five assists. Collette had 12 points and five rebounds. The Utes held a 24-13 advantage on the boards and scored 24 points off of 14 turnovers. The Orediggers shot 31.8 percent from the field and were 1 of 9 from beyond the arc in the opening half.
To make matters even more lopsided, Utah opened the second half with eight straight points as part of an 11-2 run to take a 43-point advantage. Before time expired, the Utes built a lead as large as 53.
“I thought the energy was there,” Krystkowiak said. “We had a bunch of guys that produced.”
Fourteen players saw action for Utah and 13 of them scored. The Utes netted 24 assists and turned the ball over only 10 times.
“I thought we looked good. I think we did pretty well executing and everyone did pretty well playing together,” Collette said. “There’s obviously some things that we’re going to look at and we need to fix, but overall it was a pretty good showing.”
Rawson, who finished with 10 points along with Bealer, thought the Utes did a great job of using their size and going at them with their physicality.
“They were trying to pressure us and we did a good job handling the pressure,” Rawson said.
As for going up against the World Series game, Collette summed it up on the basketball game’s behalf.
“Ours was obviously a lot more exciting,” he said.
EXTRA STUFF: Utah opens the regular season Nov. 10 against Prairie View A&M . . . A moment of silence was held for ChenWei Guo, the University of Utah student who was killed in Monday night’s shooting near Red Butte Garden . . . Newcomer Donnie Tillman pulled down a game-high eight rebounds . . . Krystkowiak said the “hurricane relief” exhibition game he hoped to schedule failed to materialize . . . Utah defeated Montana Tech 82-62 in the only other previous meeting between the teams in 1992.