The Runnin’ Utes looked like they were going to get run out of Haas Pavilion after Cal had a 14 point lead early in the game. Utah clawed its way back into the game, and it had a one point lead with 37 seconds left in regulation. However, after two overtime periods the Utes couldn’t hang on as the Golden Bears won 77-75.
The Utes went scoreless for the final three minutes of regulation, and David Collette committed his fourth foul with three seconds left on the clock. Cal went 1-of-2 from the line, and a 55-55 score sent the game into its first overtime.
Although Utah got on the board first, the two teams continued to battle it out as the lead changed hands a few times. With each team at 62, it was sent into double overtime.
Kuzma gave Utah a two point lead with three minutes remaining in double overtime, but Cal hit a three-pointer to take a 68-67 lead. Each team responded to each other’s baskets, but Cal’s final dunk with about two seconds left on the clock didn’t leave Utah enough time to get down the court to send it into triple overtime.
Kyle Kuzma ended the night with a double-double, 23 points and 14 rebounds. Lorenzo Bonam chipped in with 15 points, and David Collette added 14 despite not scoring in the first half. The team was 40.5 percent from the floor, and it was 70.8 percent from the charity stripe.
The Utes, however, committed 19 turnovers, and it resulted in 17 Cal points.
“If you take care of that 19 number, then you’re probably shooting free throws to ice it at the end,” said assistant coach Andy Hill on ESPN 700.
Cal opened game on the right foot as it jumped out to a 18-4 lead as Utah struggled to keep the ball.
“We didn’t play as smart as we needed to,” Hill said on ESPN 700. “The style that Cal plays is physical, and you got to be able to handle it. We started off behind.”
The bench players helped get Utah back into the game as they went on a 11-3 run to make it a six point game, 21-15. However, the Bears got the lead back up to 12 points.
As the first half winded down, the Utes cut that lead in half, but Bonam lost the ball, and as a result Cal ended the first half with an eight point lead over Utah, 34-26.
Cal maintained its eight point advantage for the opening minutes of the second half, but Collette got going, and he helped cut the lead down to four points. Although the Bears made another basket, Sedrick Barefield hit a three-pointer, and it was a one possession game as the Utes trailed 40-37. A Kuzma layup made it a one point game.
After a few baskets from each team, Collette had a chance to tie the game at 47, but he went 1-of-2 from the stripe to get the Utes within one point. On Utah’s next offensive possession it went to the line again, and Barefield knotted it up at 47.
Utah took its first lead of the night at the 6:05 mark of the second half after Collette hit a pair of free throws, and the Utes led 51-50. Kuzma extended that lead to three points after he made a couple of free throws. Cal got within one point, but Kuzma had a putback that gave Utah a 55-52 advantage.
However, Cal came back to tie the game in regulation on its way to winning the game in double overtime.
Up next, the Utes will play at Stanford on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. MT.