March Madness Returns to Salt Lake City in 2019

Vivint Smart Home Arena

Vivint Smart Home Arena (Photo Rob Gray)

SALT LAKE CITY – The NCAA announced today the University of Utah has been selected to host first- and second-round games of the 2019 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The games will take place March 21 and 23 at Vivint Smart Home Arena, which is in the process of undergoing a major renovation.

The University of Utah is no stranger to hosting NCAA Tournament games. Ironically, 2019 will serve as the 40th anniversary of the 1979 NCAA Final Four that took place in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, featuring the title game “dream match-up” of Michigan State’s Magic Johnson and Indiana State’s Larry Bird. Continue reading

Rose Ties Utah Strikeout Record but Utes fall 5-4 to Washington

Jayson Rose

Jayson Rose

SALT LAKE CITY – Jayson Rose tied the single-season strikeout record as the Utah baseball team dropped game one to Washington, 5-4, on Friday afternoon.

Washington took a 4-0 lead with two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. The Utes rallied back to score three runs in the sixth and tied the game with a run in the seventh before Washington scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.

Utah_vs_Washington-6Rose had six strikeouts to bring his season total to 102, tying the record set by Jason Price in 2004. Rose allowed four runs on six hits with four walks in a no decision. Dylan Drachler, who earned the loss, allowed one run on two hits in the eighth, while Riley Ottesen closed out the game for the Utes.

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Utah Women’s Hoops beat Montana St. in WNIT 95-61

AQ0U7483SALT LAKE CITY — All 11 Utes who stepped on the floor scored points as the University of Utah women’s basketball team surged to a 95-61 win over Montana State in the first round of the WNIT on Friday in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Utah (17-14) shot 50.0% (35-70) from the floor and was 48.3% (14-29) from 3-point territory. The Utes held the Bobcats to 31.3% (21-67) shooting and Utah held a 49-40 advantage in rebounding.

Utah’s 95 points was its second-highest total of the season (the Utes scored 97 against CSUN in Salt Lake City on Dec. 3). The Utes owned a 32-18 edge in points in the paint as well as a 44-26 advantage in bench points.

AQ0U7467Junior wing Paige Crozon paced the Ute attack with 20 points off 8-of-13 shooting and was 4-of-8 from 3-point territory. This was the fourth time she has reached the 20-point barrier this season. The Humboldt, Saskatchewan native also snagged five rebounds.

Senior wing Katie Kuklok buried a season-high six 3-pointers off 11 attempts. She was 6-for-10 from distance and scored 18 points.

Redshirt sophomore forward Emily Potter recorded her 15th double-double of the season (19th of her career) as she registered a team-high 14 rebounds to go with 13 points off 6-of-9 shooting from the floor). She has 27 games with 10 or more points this season (46 for her career) and 15 games with at least 10 rebounds (21 career).

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Senior point guard Danielle Rodriguez dished out a game-high six assists and scored seven points.

Sophomore forward Joeseta Fatuesi tied her career high with 10 rebounds and she also gave out a career-high four assists and scored four points.

AQ0U6840Sophomore wing Malia Nawahine scored nine points to go with a career-high-tying four assists and three rebounds.

Freshman guard Erika Bean scored eight off a 6-for-7 effort at the foul line. She also grabbed four boards to go with three assists.

Redshirt sophomore guard Devri Owens turned in five points, making two of her four shots from the floor.

Sophomore guard Gabrielle Bowie tied her career high with six points and handed out a career-best three assists.

Freshman forward Jordanna Porter scored the first three points of her career, a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. She also hauled down a rebound.

Tanaeya Boclair had six boards and dished out three assists.

AQ0U7206The Utes stormed out to a 7-0 lead and led by as many as eight (13-5) and Utah held an 18-14 lead at the end of the first frame. Utah made eight of 19 shots from the floor (42.1%) as Crozon scored nine and Potter had seven.

The Bobcats came back to tie the game for the first time at 18 points with 8:31 remaining in the second quarter. The Utes scored 12 unanswered to claim a 30-18 lead and would lead by as many as 16 (37-21) before taking 37-21 lead into halftime.

The Utes kept their momentum going as extended to a 26-point edge (57-31) midway through the third quarter and would lead by no fewer than 20 the rest of the way. Montana State (21-10) was led by 15 points and 10 rebounds from Peyton Ferris.

The Utes travel to Gonzaga for a Monday, Mar. 22 game at 6 p.m. PT in Round 2 of the WNIT.

Jakob Poeltl name PAC-12 Player of the Year

Jakob Poeltl PAC-12 Player of the year.

Jakob Poeltl PAC-12 Player of the year.

SAN FRANCISCO – Utah sophomore forward Jakob Poeltl was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and senior guard Brandon Taylor was tabbed the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on the Pac-12 Networks Sports Report Monday evening.

Poeltl, who was tabbed an All-Pac-12 First Team selection earlier today, becomes the first Utah player to earn Player of the Year since joining in the conference in 2011. He also becomes the first Ute player to be named a league’s Player of the Year honor since Luke Nevil was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year back in 2009.

“I am obviously honored,” said Poeltl. “I have always said that individual awards are not really what I am [playing] for and I am more about the team. I hope that our team is playing well, but being named the Pac-12 Player of the Year is a great honor.”

Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor

Poeltl led the conference with a .660 field goal shooting percentage, ranked second with 17.6 points per game and was third in the league with 9.1 rebounds per game. The Vienna, Austria native ranked second in both total field goals made (202) and total points (543), while also collecting the third-most double-doubles (14) in the league.

Taylor becomes the first player from Utah to earn Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete Player of the Year honors after boasting a cumulative 3.4 GPA throughout his four years on campus. The Los Angeles native was also named an All-Pac-12 selection earlier today, earning Honorable Mention accolades. Taylor ranked ninth in the conference with 3.9 assists per game, while his 120 total assists were eighth-most in the league. His 1.5 steals per game average ranked fourth-best in the Pac-12.

Three Utes Named to Pac-12 All-Conference Teams

Jakob Poeltl PAC-12 Player of the year.

Jakob Poeltl

SAN FRANCISCO – Three University of Utah players earned spots on the 2015-16 All-Pac-12 Men’s Basketball teams, the league office announced Monday afternoon. The all-conference teams were voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.

Sophomore forward Jakob Poeltl earned a spot on the 10-person All-Pac-12 First Team, while senior guard Brandon Taylor and senior forward Jordan Loveridge were both named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention selections.

Poeltl is the third straight Ute to earn first team all-conference honors, following Delon Wright who was tabbed a first team honoree in 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, Taylor earned his second all-conference honor after being named a second team selection last year. This is the first all-conference honor for Loveridge.

Jordan Loveridge

Jordan Loveridge

Poeltl led the conference with a .660 field goal shooting percentage, ranked second with 17.6 points per game and was third in the league with 9.1 rebounds per game. The Vienna, Austria native also ranked second in total field goals made (202) and total points (543). He finished the regular season with 14 double-doubles. After leading the Utes and ranking fourth in the league with 50 total blocks on the season, Poeltl was also named a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention selection.

Taylor ranked ninth in the conference with 3.9 assists per game, while his 120 total assists were eighth-most in the league. After earning Pac-12 All-Defensive Team Honorable Mention honors last season, the Los Angeles native found his way to the first team in 2015-16, finishing fourth in the conference in both total steals (47) and steals per game (1.5).

Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor

Loveridge was one of the league’s most lethal shooters from downtown this season, finishing the 2015-16 campaign ranked third among players in the Pac-12 in three-pointers made (79), three-pointers made per game (2.55) and three-point field goal percentage (.407).