SALT LAKE CITY (AP)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.
Lee finished with 15 points to lead Idaho State (1-2). Brock Mackenzie and Miguel Tomley added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Utah continues its homestand by hosting Sam Houston on Thursday.
Idaho State returns home to play host to Denver on Friday.
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