What an ugly game for the Utes, as they lost another road game, this time in Corvallis against Oregon State, 70-51. It was ugly from the get go for the Utes, as they struggled to find offensive rhythm pretty much from jump. The Utes went three stretches without being able to find offense. It wasn’t just from the floor, but it was from the free throw line too, as the Utes missed free throw after free throw, that would have kept the game pretty close early on, but allowed OSU to creep away from the Utes. The Beavs built a 16 point halftime lead, but it’s not like they were running away from the Utes, it’s just the Utes couldn’t capitalize on open shots and free throws, while Oregon State was able to run a nominally successful offense. Oregon State threw a zone at the Utes that really put a wrench in the works, as Utah struggled with some ugly turnovers, and poorly managed possessions with the shot clock.
Utah did shoot better in the second half, 45% vs 29%, but the damage was done. No way did the Utes have a run in them that would be able to cut into the lead that OSU had built. Defensively, the Utes weren’t bad, they were pretty average. To give up 70 points in a game is the ballpark you should be playing in in college hoops, and if you can’t match that you have a problem.
In the good news category, Both Gach did return to score 8 points, the second highest on the team. Brandon Carlson led the Utes with 13 points and 8 rebounds.
Utah has now lost 7 straight on the road, and haven't won on the road since Nevada on Nov 5th. This is something the Utes need to fix, and it’s likely not going to happen against Oregon on Sunday, where hopefully the can just keep it close.
Post game quotes:
Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak…
On the message at halftime…
“I thought, you know, we weren’t aggressive, we weren’t getting feet in the paint. There were a lot of times that we didn’t finish strong enough around the rim when we finally did get there. You know those golden opportunities, point blank range and then free-throw line. I just challenged our guys that we had to have a little bit more… players make plays. That’s what I talked about. It’s not what we call or whether they’re in man, zone or have court trap or anything like that. Our players need to step up and make plays for each other and when we did that, I thought it was pretty good. We got feet in the paint, draw and kick, and kept them moving and the second half was far better than the first half.”