ST. GEORGE — The Trailblazers took one on their collective teeth Saturday when both Utah Tech basketball teams lost non-conference games at home.

Utah Tech’s Aric Demings looks to pass against Idaho in a non-conference basketball game, St. George, Utah, Dec. 9, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George Utah

“This one hurts,” men’s head coach Jon Judkins told Voice of the Trailblazers Rod Zundel after they fell to Idaho 63-62 Saturday night.

The Trailblazers saw their three-game win streak snapped and fell to 5-4 overall in early season action.

About midway through the second half, Utah Tech enjoyed its biggest lead at 11 points.

But the Vandals defense stymied the home team in an eight-minute stretch when the Trailblazers netted just two points and Idaho got back in the game.

Utah Tech still controlled its own destiny. Down by one with nine seconds left, the Trailblazers had plenty of time to work the offense and managed to get off two shots but neither of them fell and the visitors (6-4) went home victorious.

Trailblazers junior Tanner Christensen, who played two years for the Vandals before coming to Utah Tech, led the home team with a double-double, scoring 18 points and snagging 10 rebounds.

Aric Demings had a big night for Utah Tech with 16 points and Beon Riley chipped in with 10 points.

Quinn Denker paced Idaho with his 18 points and D’Angelo Minnis threw in 11 for the winners. Big man Kyson Rose, matched up against Christensen much of the night, hit two critical 3-pointers and finished with eight points for Idaho.

The Trailblazers don’t have long to brood on the tough loss. Utah Tech takes a bus ride and plays Cal State Northridge Monday night, then returns to St. George on Saturday, Dec. 16 for a home game against North Dakota at 7 p.m.

The women’s matinee

The Trailblazers started strong but fell in a 77-67 defeat against visiting Weber State.

Utah Tech’s Macie Warren drives against Weber State in a nonconference women’s basketball game, St. George, Utah, Dec. 9, 2023 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Utah Tech used an 11-3 run to take a 23-17 advantage after the first period of play.

The Wildcats answered with a 12-3 run of their own in the second session and took a 41-33 lead into halftime.

Weber State put the game away in the third, leading by 20 at one point. It was 65-48 Wildcats going into the fourth and final quarter.

Breaunna Gillen finished with 20 points for the Trailblazers. She also snagged seven rebounds, dished out three assists and stole three balls. She was 10-for-10 at the free throw line.

Macie Warren scored 18 points and twin sister Maddie Warren threw in 17 for the Trailblazers. Alyson Deaver finished with five points for the home team while twin sister Catelyn Deaver had two steals and Nicole Willardson tied a career-high mark for blocks with two in the loss.

Daryn Hickok sank five 3-pointers and led all scorers with 25 points in the win for Weber State (2-7), which won its second game of the year. 

Meanwhile Utah Tech lost its second consecutive game and fell to 5-4 on the campaign.

The Trailblazers get the week off for finals and next play Saturday, Dec. 16 against non-conference Bethesda University. That will be another matinee tipoff at 2 p.m. in Burns Arena.

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