SALT LAKE CITY — Utah basketball rolled out the red carpet for its annual “Night with the Utes.” Wednesday’s gathering at the Huntsman Center featured both the men’s and women’s programs.
It broke the grind following three weeks of practice and three more ahead before exhibition and preseason play begins.
“This isn’t playing anybody else, but it certainly is fun having the fans in, you know, and adrenaline,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, who added that conditioning factors into it and the coaches will have film to watch. “It’s fun. We got out first ‘W.’”
In the first part of the men’s scrimmage, freshmen Vante Hendrix and Both Gach scored 11 and nine points, respectively, in leading the Red team to a 34-31 advantage. Sophomore Donnie Tillman had 12 points and six rebounds for the White squad.
The Utes mixed the teams up a little bit, as they did in the opener, in the second segment. They also cut the time to 16 minutes. The Red once again prevailed, topping the White 36-25. Senior guard Sedrick Barefield set the pace with 13 points. SLCC transfer Brandon Morley topped the White team with 11 points.
“It was awesome just being able to see the new guys flourish and kind of show what they can do and just get a feel for what each guy brings,” Barefield said.
Between halves, the women’s team played a 10-minute scrimmage against the “Red Army,” a group of male students that provides competition in practices. Senior forward Megan Huff scored six points in leading the Utes to a 21-13 victory. Senior wing Daneesha Provo and redshirt freshman guard Dru Gylten added four points apiece.
“We would like to build on this. It’s good. It’s a great first. There’s always a lot of nerves and you see it with the men’s and you see it with us,” said women’s coach Lynne Roberts. “It’s the first time under the lights. But it’s just fun. That’s the whole point of it. We are still going to walk out of here 0-0.”
The men return to action for an exhibition game against the College of Idaho on Nov. 1. They open the season Nov. 8 at home against Maine.
The women face Westminster College in an exhibition on Oct. 31. Their season opener is Nov. 7 at Nevada.1 comment on this story
DUNK CONTEST: Freshman forward Timmy Allen was the people’s choice, drawing the most applause to be declared the winner. The other finalists were freshman forward Both Gach, junior guard Charles Jones, Jr., and sophomore forward Donnie Tillman.
EXTRA STUFF: Senior guard Erika Bean needed only one half-court shot to win a television for a fan. Freshman forward Andrea Torres later banked another one in to win a TV for another attendee . . . Both the men and women earned victories in a 3-point shooting contest. The men prevailed 42-41 in the first grouping, while the women took the second by a 42-38 margin.