Allen scores 19 as Utah rolls past Weber State 60-49

Allen scores 19 as Utah rolls past Weber State 60-49
Utah forward Timmy Allen (1) looks at the score board in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Weber State Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Timmy Allen scored 19 points to lead the Utah past Weber State 60-49 in the Beehive Classic on Saturday.

Riley Battin added nine points and 10 rebounds and Mikael Jantunen and Branden Carlson each had nine points for the Utes (8-2).

Jerrick Harding scored 17 points, Cody John had 15 and Kham Davis contributed 11 for the Wildcats, who fell to 3-6.

Utah led 31-25 at the half after overcoming an early six-point deficit. After the break, Battin scored four quick points, Carlson dunked and the Utes never relinquished a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

In the second half, both teams had a hard time finding the bottom of the net as they combined to shoot 2 for 18 during one stretch.

But the Utes got buckets around the basket and if they missed, they tallied 11 points in the second half on second chances to go along with a 47-34 rebounding advantage.

The Utes played without their starting point guard Rylan Jones, who was second on the team in minutes played, but had bruised ribs.

On the other side, the Wildcats finally have a mostly healthy team after a rash of injuries at the beginning of the season but haven’t been able to find an offensive rhythm.

Preseason Big Sky MVP Harding averaged 28 points in Weber State’s two wins last week but didn’t start scoring until the Wildcats were down big in the second half.

The Wildcats had 14 missed layups and dunks against Utah’s extraordinary length. The Utes’ aggressive switching defense on Weber State’s perimeter screens kept the Wildcats off balance.

BEEHIVE WON’T BE BACK

The three-year experiment of the Beehive Classic is over. The annual doubleheader featuring Utah’s top four basketball schools at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, the home of the Utah Jazz, didn’t ever capture the imagination of fans. Instead of the intensity of an in-state rivalry, the arena was filled to just a quarter of the lower bowl with fans in a huge arena that had the buzz of an exhibition contest.

The matchup was the first for the Wildcats and Utes since 2011 after a legacy of playing each other nearly every year. Utah now leads the series 27-14.

BIG PICTURE

Weber State: Against a defense with some length and athleticism like Utah’s, the Wildcats had a hard time generating good shots and making them. They converted just 33% of their field goals and got nothing in the mid-range as the Utes ruled the paint and harassed the Wildcats on the 3-point line.

Utah: The youth of the Utes— with no seniors and just three juniors — was apparent again, as it has been through the early part of the season, with unforced turnovers and poor shot selection early in the game and again late. But Utah did enough to win their fourth straight going into a big matchup with Kentucky.

UP NEXT

Weber State: Hosts Bethesda (California) on Tuesday.

Utah: Plays No. 8 Kentucky in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

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