SALT LAKE CITY -- — Branden Carlson scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Utah held off a late surge to post a 70-58 win over Idaho State on Monday night.
The Utes' 7-foot center converted 9 of 18 shots from the field, hit 1 of 4 from distance, was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line and blocked four shots.
Utah took a 38-31 lead at intermission and quickly pushed the lead into double digits to open the second half. But the Bengals rallied. Austin Smellie drilled a 3 with 9:39 left to pull Idaho State within one, 53-52, but the Bengals did not score again until Kolby Lee scored at the basket to make it 59-54 with 5:39 left. Brandon Carlson turned a three-point play and scored at the basket down the stretch to help the Utes seal the victory.
Utah (3-0) held a decided advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the Bengals 44-29 while dishing out 13 assists on 24 made baskets.
Utah continues its homestand by hosting Sam Houston on Thursday.
Idaho State returns home to play host to Denver on Friday.
- Verne Harris
- David Hall
- Bill Vinovich