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Madsen, Worster lead Utah to 78-71 victory over Saint Mary’s

Utah returns home to host Hawaii on Thursday.

(Scott Strazzante | San Francisco Chronicle via AP) Utah's Gabe Madsen drives against St. Mary's Aidan Mahaney during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Moraga, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

Moraga, Calif. • Gabe Madsen and Rollie Worster scored 17 points apiece to lead Utah to a 78-71 victory over Saint Mary’s on Monday night.

Madsen made 6 of 11 shots with two 3-pointers for the Utes (4-2). Worster hit 6 of 16 shots with two 3-pointers, adding eight rebounds. Cole Bajema also sank two 3s and scored 14.

Aidan Mahoney scored 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting with four 3-pointers to lead the Gaels (3-4), adding five assists. Alex Ducas hit four 3-pointers and scored 16. Joshua Jefferson pitched in with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Mahaney had 14 points for Saint Mary’s and Madsen scored 10 for Utah in a 38-all first half that saw five lead changes and four ties.

Lawson Lovering, who finished with nine points, and Madsen had layups to open the second half and the Utes never trailed again. Saint Mary’s didn’t score until Ducas hit a 3-pointer with 16 minutes remaining to get the Gaels within a point. Utah answered with a layup by Keba Deita, a dunk from Madsen and a Lovering layup to take a two-possession lead.

Mahaney hit a jumper to pull the Gaels within 50-48 at the 9:45 mark, but Utah scored its next 12 points at the free-throw line to up its advantage to 62-52 with 6:20 remaining. The Utes maintained a two-possession lead from there.

Branden Carlson, the reigning Pac-12 player of the week after averaging 23.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in Utah’s three games at the Charleston Classic, was held to seven points and seven boards.

Utah returns home to host Hawaii on Thursday. Saint Mary’s will host Boise State on Friday.