FORT MYERS, Fla. (ABC4 Sports) – After racing out to a 23-4 lead, the Runnin’ Utes had to fight back in the final minutes to beat Georgia Tech in the Fort Myes Tip-Off, 68-64.
Gabe Madsen led five Utes in double figures with 16 points, while Lazar Stefanovic and Marco Anthony each added 11.
Branden Carlson scored all ten of his points in the first half as Utah stormed out to a 19-point lead. Georgia Tech cut the deficit to 36-28 at the break.
Utah committed 19 turnovers, which helped the Yellow Jackets come all the way back to take a 4-point lead in the second half.
Georgia Tech led 57-54 with 7:22 left in the second half but didn’t make another field goal until the closing seconds when Deivon Smith was fouled on a layup and an official review determined there was a goaltending violation on Utah. Smith made the free throw for a three-point play to pull within 66-64 with 39.7 seconds left.
Utah passed it around the perimeter to work the clock but Madsen missed a wide-open 3-pointer. Smith grabbed the rebound and raced the other way but his layup in traffic was short and Utah secured the rebound before making two free throws with 1.2 left.
Carlson Carlson and Rollie Worster added 10 points apiece for the Utes, who improved to 4-1 on the season.
Utah jumped out to a 23-4 lead and it was 36-28 at halftime. The Utes finished the game with 19 turnovers — but only had one in the final seven minutes.
Smith scored 15 points for Georgia Tech (3-1). Javon Franklin and Dallan Coleman each scored 11.
Utah will face either Mississippi State or Marquette in the championship game Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.