SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Sophomore Keba Keita came off the bench to score 23 points and help Utah escape with an 88-86 victory over Southern Utah on Tuesday night.

Keita made 6 of 7 shots and scored 13 to lead Utah to a 47-40 lead at halftime. The Utes (6-2) shot 60% in the first half (15 of 25). Freshman Braden Housley had 14 points to keep the Thunderbirds (2-6) within striking distance.

Gabe Madsen's layup gave Utah its biggest lead at 59-42 with 16:14 left to play. Southern Utah battled back, using a 3-pointer by Dominique Ford in a 7-0 run to get within 63-59 with 11:28 remaining.

The Thunderbirds kept their deficit in the single digits but could not get within one possession until Ford buried a 3-pointer with nine seconds to go to pull them within 86-83. Madsen was fouled and hit two free throws with three seconds left. Ford hit another 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Keita missed just one of his 12 shots for Utah. He added eight rebounds, blocked two shots and had two steals. Madsen scored 19. Rollie Worster had 12 points and a career-high 11 assists for his first double-double of the season. Ben Carlson finished with a career-high 15 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.

Housley and Ford both scored 23 to lead Southern Utah. Housley made 8 of 14 shots with four 3-pointers, adding five assists. Ford hit 7 of 12 shots and connected five times from beyond the arc. Parsa Fallah scored 20 and had three assists. Prophet Johnson grabbed 11 rebounds to go with eight points and five assists.

Utah will host unbeaten and 14th-ranked BYU on Saturday. Southern Utah returns home to host Idaho State on Saturday.


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