I felt like we knew what we had to do. We played hard. Even though he’s one of our best scorers, we did what we had to do. —Utah forward Chris Seeley
SALT LAKE CITY — After an impressive season debut, Sedrick Barefield didn’t record a stat in the Utes’ second game.
He didn’t even get to stick around to watch his teammates destroy Mississippi Valley State 91-51 Monday at the Huntsman Center.
The junior guard’s final score turned out to be as follows:
Stomach virus 1, Sedrick Barefield 0.
“He wasn’t able to play,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said, “so I sent him home.”
Some other members of the team, including freshman Donnie Tillman, have been battling the illness recently as well.
Barefield’s teammates held up the fort just fine in his absence, with senior wing Gabe Bealer leading the way with 20 points.
“I thought we responded really well. He’s a really big part of our offense. He scores a lot of points,” Bealer said after draining six 3-pointers and hitting 7 of 9 shots. “With him out, it’s a big gap there that somebody has to fill. I guess it was just my time to fill that gap.”
Barefield, who averaged 9.0 points last year after transferring from SMU, hit 8 of 12 shots for a team-high 22 points against Prairie View A&M in the opener.
“I thought we responded well. He’s in our prayers,” Utah forward Chris Seeley said. “He’s dealing with what he has going on. I felt like we knew what we had to do. We played hard. Even though he’s one of our best scorers, we did what we had to do.”
Krystkowiak liked that he was able to give a lot of guys playing time in Barefield’s absence because of the nature of the 91-51 blowout win. Nine players logged at least 15 minutes.
On Thursday, the Utes host Missouri to begin a stretch that has them playing four games in eight nights. Krystowiak likens it to an NBA schedule, so he likes that a bunch of players got a “great conditioner” against MVSU.
“We’re going to need those guys in the mix and figure out where our rotation is,” he said. “We got some rest as well.”
GAME NOTES: This was the first meeting between Utah and MVSU, but it marked the second time Krystkowiak beat this program. His Montana State team downed the Delta Devils 81-57 on Dec. 9, 2005. This was the second game in a three-game Utah road trip for Mississippi Valley State. The Beehive State swing began with a 91-61 loss to BYU at the Marriott Center on Saturday and concludes Wednesday at Utah State. Guard Justin Bibbins dished out a team-high seven assists. Kolbe Caldwell started in Barefield’s place, totaling five points and two assists in 12 minutes.