SALT LAKE CITY (AP)David Jenkins Jr. scored 15 points, Branden Carlson added 14 and Utah gave new coach Craig Smith a 70-56 win over Abilene Christian in his first game with the Utes on Tuesday night.
Smith moved from Utah State after Larry Krystkowiak was fired.
Only six players scored for Utah, five starters and Dusan Mahorcic, who had 11 points off the bench.
Immanuel Allen had 13 points for Abilene Christian.
Twice in the first half Utah built a double figure lead but the Wildcats kept battling back and trailed 34-27 at the half.
The lead got down to two early in the second half but Carlson hit a 3 pointer. After an Abilene Christian bucket Marco Anthony hit a jumper and Jenkins followed with a four-point play. That ignited a 19-4 run that got the lead to 18.
Riley Battin had 10 rebounds to go with his eight points to help Utah dominate the boards 55-29.
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