Utah (4-1) at SMU (6-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Moody Coliseum (8,000) -- Dallas, Texas. Television:
None. Home Record: Utah 4-1, SMU 3-0. Away Record: Utah 0-0, SMU 2-0. Neutral
Record: Utah 0-0, SMU 1-1. Conference Record: Utah 0-0, SMU 0-0. Series
Record: Utah leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: The Utah Runnin' Utes will try to hand the SMU Mustangs their
first loss at Moody Coliseum this season when the two take the floor for a
non-conference tilt on Wednesday.
The Utes are riding a three-game winning streak into Dallas after their 66-54
win over Wright State on Saturday. Utah opened up its 2012-13 campaign with a
rout of Division III Willamette before being surprised by Sacramento State,
which left the Jon M. Huntsman Center with a three-point win. Coach Larry
Krystkowiak then led his squad to three double-digit wins, including decisions
over Idaho State (57-46) and Central Michigan (67-51). Utah is outscoring its
opponents by 18.6 ppg and winning the rebounding battle by an average of 10.6
boards per contest.
Even with Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown on the sidelines, SMU has exceeded
expectations early on this season. SMU improved to 6-1 on Sunday with a 62-61
win over Missouri State in the third-place game of the Hoops for Hope Classic.
The Mustangs experienced their only setback the day before as Arkansas-Little
Rock handed them a 13-point loss. Prior to the tourney, SMU reeled off five
wins in a row to tip-off Brown's tenure at the school. The five-game streak
included a 15-point win over Loyola Marymount, three-point victories on the
road over TCU and Texas State, and a 13-point win over Rider. SMU has
outscored its opponents by eight ppg under Brown's watch.
This will be the fourth meeting between these schools. Utah won all three
previous meetings which took place during the 1996-97 season when the Keith
Van Horn led Utes were ranked in the top-10.
Utah had a defensive lapse in its lone loss of the season. Sacramento State
was the only one of its opponents to eclipse the 70-point mark and beat the
Utes in the rebounding battle (38-34). The Hornets also knocked down 10-of-23
from 3-point range (43.5 percent) in the contest. The rest of the Utes'
opposition have combined to make only 20-of-86 from beyond the arc (23.3
percent). The team is sub-par on the offensive end of the floor. Utah is
averaging 65.3 ppg on 45.5 percent shooting from the floor versus its four
Division I opponents. Freshman forward Jordan Loveridge paced the team with 22
points and nine rebounds in its recent win over Wright State. Center Dallin
Bachynski added 16 points and two blocks while Jarred DuBois chipped in 12
points, seven assists, and six boards from the other forward slot. All three
are averaging in double-figures with Bachynski at the head of the class with
13.2 points and nine rebounds per contest.
The Mustangs are coming off a stellar shooting performance in which they
netted 51.4 percent of their field goals to survive a thriller versus Missouri
State. SMU needed to convert a high percentage of its shots to overcome 16
turnovers and a narrow, 30-28 loss in the rebounding battle. Brown's squad
could have coasted past the Bears instead of hanging one for a one-point
decision, but it converted only 23-of-37 at the charity stripe in the contest.
Nick Russell stepped up to lead the team with 25 points, while Jalen Jones
contributed 17 points. Russell slightly leads Jones in the scoring column, as
they average 16 and 15.4 ppg, respectively. Ryan Manual is also scoring in
double figures consistently with a 13.6 ppg average, while Jones is the top
rebounder with 6.7 boards per game.
Although Utah is representing the Pac-12, it showed it was not up to par in
2011-12, its inaugural season in the league, by finishing 6-25 overall. Last
season, SMU lost to Oklahoma State in double-overtime and Ole Miss by two
points in its only action versus BCS conference opposition. With the legendary
Brown now occupying the most important seat on the Mustangs' bench, SMU has a
great chance of ruining Utah's first road trip.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: SMU 67, Utah 62
11/28 10:33:31 ET
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