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Utah falls to Coastal Carolina 79-57 in the Myrtle Beach Invitational opener

Yikes, that’s a really bad loss for the Utes. The young Utah basketball team dropped to Coastal Carolina at the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Thursday night. With as many new faces that are on this roster, and with most of them being so young, I have been expecting losses similar to this, ideally not to a foe like Coastal Carolina.

Utah had a really poor start falling behind from jump and really couldn’t claw their way back into the game. Offensively, the Utes just couldn’t get shots to fall on a consistent basis, as Coach K said in post game, “ In the first half I thought we earned some pretty good shots, they didn’t go in. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that, you’ve got to make open shots. We got outscrapped. In the first half, a number of offensive rebounds, the play right before halftime was pretty illuminating in my mind where the ball’s bouncing around, we don’t get the possession, they hit a 3, go up six. It’s a big difference.” Utah had multiple chances to come up with a stop and rebound before the break, when they were down just three, but Coastal Carolina hit a tough 3 at the buzzer to give them the six point lead going into the break. The first half, overall, was a bit of a game of cat and mouse, where CCU would pull out to a nine point lead, then Utah would trim it down. It was that three before the buzzer that just broke the Utes back.

While the Utes showed signs of life in the first, keeping it within striking distance, in the second things got ugly. The Utes shot just 25% from the floor, which dropped them to 33% for the game, and couldn’t hit anything from beyond the arc, going 5 of 28 on the game. Meanwhile, CCU jumped out to a quick 14-2 run on the Utes because of three point shooting. CCU hit 11 of 24 from downtown, and stretched the lead to that 18 point lead early in that second half.

The Utes only had one player in double figures, with Timmy Allen having 15 points, and what hurt the team was the 15 turnovers they gave away. When the team can't put the ball in the basket, they can’t just give away possessions like that. It was an especially tough night for Both Gach who had five points on 2 of 11 shooting and went 0 of 5 from three.

I think we’re going to see nights like this throughout the season, where they stumble and struggle to find themselves. Fortunately, they get right back on the court tomorrow against Ohio at 5:30. Ohio was coming off a loss to Baylor earlier in the day.