facebook-pixel

Branden Carlson’s career night lifts Runnin’ Utes over Wake Forest

Wake Forest led 45-33 early in the second half until a 17-3 run gave Utah (3-0) a 68-63 lead with 4:21 remaining.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) as Utah hosts Colorado, NCAA basketball in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023.

Charleston, S.C. • Branden Carlson scored a career-high 31 points and Utah rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to beat Wake Forest 77-70 on Thursday night in the Charleston Classic.

Wake Forest led 45-33 early in the second half until a 17-3 run gave Utah (3-0) a 68-63 lead with 4:21 remaining. Lawson Lovering’s three-point play sparked the surge. Cole Bajema made a pair of 3-pointers and Carlson added a 3 and a dunk.

Carlson was 12-of-20 shooting, hit four of Utah’s eight shots from long range and blocked five shots. Bajema finished with 11 points and Lovering 10. Eight Utes grabbed at least three of its 38 rebounds.

Hunter Sallis scored 20 points to lead Wake Forest (1-2). Cameron Hildreth added 14 points, Andrew Carr had 13 and Zach Keller 10.

Wake Forest shot 53% in the first half and built a 41-31 halftime lead. Hildreth scored 14 first-half points but was 0 of 4 from the floor in the second half.

Utah made half its field goals (30 of 60) while the Demon Deacons finished 47% shooting (28 of 60) overall.

Wake Forest hosts Charleston Southern on Nov. 24.

Utah plays at Saint Mary’s on Nov. 27.