MAINE
UTAH

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Utah opens season with 75-61 win over Maine

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Blending in tons of newcomers isn't going to happen without Utah experiencing some growing pains.

That much was evident during the Utes' 75-61 victory over Maine on Thursday night. Utah showed moments of brilliance in its season opener. It also made plenty of mistakes characteristic of a young and inexperienced basketball team.

''Got to be better defensively. Got to stick to the game plan. Got to take better care of the ball,'' senior guard Sedrick Barefield said, checking off the areas where he feels like the Utes need to improve.

Utah seemed ready to cruise to an easy win after the Utes opened the game by connecting on their first seven field-goal attempts and started 9 of 10 from the field. That run of baskets included six 3-pointers.

Then Utah got a taste of the other end of that spectrum in the second half when it endured a scoring drought lasting more than nine minutes. The Utes weren't as successful in getting stops and Maine threw out a 1-1-3 zone that helped the Black Bears hang around.

''Typically, in an overall sense, if (we) get stops, we're a pretty good team,'' Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. ''Not just because we didn't let the other team score, but because we have some guys that can get out and run and do some things in transition and the offensive end isn't such a grind.''

Barefield scored 18 points and Donnie Tillman added 15 to lead Utah. The Utes (1-0) prevailed after shooting 49 percent from the field and finishing with a 42-26 advantage on the glass.

Isaiah White scored 24 points and Terion Moss added 13 to lead the Black Bears (0-2). Maine trailed wire-to-wire after shooting just 40 percent.

Hot shooting out of the gate resulted in a quick double-digit lead for the Utes.

After White turned a steal into a fastbreak dunk to cut Utah's lead to 14-8, Barefield responded with back-to-back 3-pointers to push the advantage back to double digits. Vante Hendrix followed with two more baskets on consecutive possessions a minute later. Hendrix's second basket - a 3-pointer he set up with a steal - put Utah up 25-10 with 12:16 left in the first half.

Maine cut the deficit to 10 twice before halftime.

Timmy Allen made a layup and fed Riley Batten to set up another to give Utah a 45-28 halftime lead.

The aforementioned nine-minute cold spell for Utah's offense prevented the Utes from building on the lead after halftime. It allowed Maine to pull within 60-51 on a 3-pointer from Moss with 6:09 left.

''I was extremely pleased with our toughness, in terms of how we continued to fight, even when we made some mistakes mentally, we moved onto the next play really well,'' Maine coach Richard Barron said.

Barefield finally ended the drought with a jumper. Utah then ran off four straight baskets, culminating in a Parker Van Dyke 3-pointer to take a 71-57 lead with 2:44 remaining.

WHITE SHINES

After averaging 11.1 points a year ago, White may be on the cusp of playing a bigger part in Maine's offense this season. The redshirt junior scored a career-high 24 points while also matching a career-high with nine field goals. White is the leading scorer for the Black Bears through two games, averaging 16.5 points on 43 percent shooting.

NEW FACES

Nine new players joined Utah during the offseason and six of them made their debut with the Utes on Thursday. The top performers among the newcomers were graduate transfer Novak Topalovic and true freshman Allen. Topalovic totaled nine points and nine rebounds. Allen had six points, six boards, and six assists.

BIG PICTURE

Maine: The Black Bears should get a boost of confidence from hanging around with Utah in the second half. Their shooting was a bit too erratic in the first half to truly give them an upset chance, but they could put a scare into other opponents during their six-game road trip with improvement.

Utah: Inconsistency gripped a Utah team filled with newcomers. The Utes were solid on defense as usual, but endured long cold spells on offense. There could be some growing pains for Utah as the schedule gets tougher, but the Utes do have enough length, speed, and athleticism to be a dangerous team once they have enough experience.

UP NEXT

Maine: The Black Bears continue a season-opening six-game road trip at San Francisco on Saturday.

Utah: The Utes will hit the road for the first time when they play at Minnesota on Monday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Utah 27.0
  Andrew Fleming missed dunk, blocked by Jayce Johnson 29.0
  Traveling violation turnover on Jayce Johnson 40.0
+ 2 Vilgot Larsson made layup, assist by Andrew Fleming 50.0
+ 2 Both Gach made layup, assist by Timmy Allen 1:10
  Offensive rebound by Timmy Allen 1:18
  Both Gach missed layup 1:20
+ 2 Isaiah White made jump shot, assist by Sergio El Darwich 1:41
+ 1 Sedrick Barefield made 2nd of 2 free throws 2:07
+ 1 Sedrick Barefield made 1st of 2 free throws 2:07
  Personal foul on Terion Moss 2:07
Team Stats
Points 61 75
Field Goals 22-55 (40.0%) 27-55 (49.1%)
3-Pointers 9-26 (34.6%) 8-24 (33.3%)
Free Throws 8-12 (66.7%) 13-19 (68.4%)
Total Rebounds 26 42
Offensive 3 9
Defensive 19 30
Team 4 3
Assists 16 18
Steals 9 7
Blocks 4 3
Turnovers 12 14
Fouls 18 14
Technicals 0 0
24 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST
18 PTS, 2 REB, 8 AST
12T
away team logo Maine 0-2 283361
home team logo Utah 1-0 453075
Team Stats
away team logo Maine 0-2 57.4 PPG 30.8 RPG 13.8 APG
home team logo Utah 1-0 80.7 PPG 44.3 RPG 17.0 APG
Key Players
14
I. White G 14.4 PPG 3.8 RPG 1.4 APG 40.9 FG%
2
S. Barefield G 12.0 PPG 1.3 RPG 4.7 APG 31.6 FG%
Top Scorers
I. White G 24 PTS 3 REB 1 AST
S. Barefield G 18 PTS 2 REB 8 AST
40.0 FG% 49.1
34.6 3PT FG% 33.3
66.7 FT% 68.4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
I. White 35 24 3 1 0 0 4 1 9/17 3/6 3/4 0 3
V. Larsson 38 9 7 2 1 0 1 2 3/10 1/4 2/3 1 6
S. El Darwich 20 6 0 4 2 0 0 4 3/6 0/3 0/0 0 0
A. Fleming 40 5 6 3 2 0 2 0 2/6 1/3 0/1 1 5
V. Eze 19 2 2 1 3 2 1 4 0/2 0/0 2/2 0 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
I. White 35 24 3 1 0 0 4 1 9/17 3/6 3/4 0 3
V. Larsson 38 9 7 2 1 0 1 2 3/10 1/4 2/3 1 6
S. El Darwich 20 6 0 4 2 0 0 4 3/6 0/3 0/0 0 0
A. Fleming 40 5 6 3 2 0 2 0 2/6 1/3 0/1 1 5
V. Eze 19 2 2 1 3 2 1 4 0/2 0/0 2/2 0 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
T. Moss 29 13 2 3 1 0 1 2 4/10 4/9 1/2 0 2
M. Antoms 19 2 2 2 0 2 3 5 1/4 0/1 0/0 1 1
D. Ashley - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Stojiljkovic - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Prijovic - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Araujo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Wang - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Yagodin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Iluyomade - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Ingo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Begic - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 61 22 16 9 4 12 18 22/55 9/26 8/12 3 19
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Barefield 36 18 2 8 1 0 5 1 5/14 2/7 6/6 1 1
D. Tillman 24 15 5 1 0 0 1 4 6/8 2/3 1/1 0 5
P. Van Dyke 21 11 2 0 1 0 2 2 4/6 3/5 0/0 0 2
N. Topalovic 20 9 10 2 0 0 1 1 3/3 0/0 3/6 2 8
T. Allen 35 6 6 6 2 0 1 1 2/4 0/0 2/2 1 5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Barefield 36 18 2 8 1 0 5 1 5/14 2/7 6/6 1 1
D. Tillman 24 15 5 1 0 0 1 4 6/8 2/3 1/1 0 5
P. Van Dyke 21 11 2 0 1 0 2 2 4/6 3/5 0/0 0 2
N. Topalovic 20 9 10 2 0 0 1 1 3/3 0/0 3/6 2 8
T. Allen 35 6 6 6 2 0 1 1 2/4 0/0 2/2 1 5
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
V. Hendrix 9 5 3 0 1 0 1 2 2/5 1/4 0/0 0 3
J. Johnson 18 4 8 0 0 2 2 2 2/5 0/0 0/2 5 3
B. Gach 18 4 0 1 1 1 1 0 2/4 0/1 0/0 0 0
R. Battin 15 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 1/3 0/2 1/2 0 2
C. Jones Jr. 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/3 0/2 0/0 0 1
M. Reininger - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Rydalch - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. King - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Popoola - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Gaskin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Thioune - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Kremer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Morley - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 201 75 39 18 7 3 14 14 27/55 8/24 13/19 9 30