SALT LAKE CITY — Utah trailed for the majority of the game before taking its first lead of the game in the fourth quarter against visiting UC Davis in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament Wednesday.
Utah would claim its first lead of the game on a Donnie Tillman basket to start the fourth quarter. Utah finished the quarter shooting 50 percent from the field to give the Utes a 69-59 win.
The Utes were led by senior guard Justin Bibbins, who finished with 21 points, six rebounds and two assists in the win. Bibbins was 6-of-6 from the free throw line and hit two big 3-pointers late in the game to extend Utah’s lead and to keep building on a slow-building momentum.
Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak was ejected from the game in the second quarter after a disagreement with the refs. Krystkowiak charged the court and received two technical fouls before being sent to the lockers. Assistant coach Tommy Connor coached the remainder of the game for the Utes.
The Krystkowiak ejected lit a fire under the team and gave them a much-needed energy boost to a slow start to the game. Utah scored only 11 points in the first quarter and was shooting 14 percent from the field.
Utah will play No. 3 LSU Monday at the Huntsman Center at 7 p.m. for a second-round NIT matchup.