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Utah rallies but falls to Stanford on the road

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Stanford D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The road bugaboo remains as the Utes lost another road game, 70-62, and they remain winless on the road in conference play. They really put themselves behind the eight ball in the opening 8 minutes of the game, where arguably the worst offensive performance this team has had, which is saying something, was on full display. The Utes had 8 of their 12 first half turnovers in those opening eight minutes, and it didn’t look like they were running any kind of offensive system. There was a lot of needless dribbling, slow ball movement, and just overall disjointedness on the offensive side of the court. While that was happening, Stanford built a 15 point lead, and it was looking like it was going to be a run away, and Utah may not break 15 points at half. Fortunately, they did make a mini-run at the end of the half to cut the lead to 34-22, and the felt like a win with everything that was happening.

The Utah team that came out of the locker room looked entirely different. The ball was popping from guy to guy, and in the opening possession Timmy Allen hit Branden Carlson for a dunk. The energy was different from that point on. Speaking of Carlson, he was a stud again tonight, as he had eight blocks, to match his output against Stanford the last time, to go with 12 points and four rebounds. Allen and 17 points, seven boards and four assists, and got going in the second half with 13 of those points.

Utah, on multiple occasions, cut the lead to single digits in that second half, but Stanford would stretch it out a bit. They were led by Tyrell Terry, who hit seven threes, and just kept cutting every Utah run short. Late in the game, Utah had cut the lead to three, at 63-60, and had multiple attempts to tie the game in those last three minutes. Jaxon Brenchley, who had a nice game and kept Utah from being blown out in that first half, missed a wide open three, Rylan Jones missed a three, and Brandon Carlson missed a great look to tie the game too, but they all came up empty. It was a free throw contest for Stanford to close out the Utes, after the Cardinal hit a big three to take that three point lead to six. Also of note, Both Gach had a nice game tonight too, with 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting. He was aggressive and attacked the paint, which he needs to continue.

This loss means Utah will have a losing conference record, and they only have one more chance to get a road win, against Cal. That is a game they should win — but it’s the road so I shouldn’t say “should.” They will play that game on Saturday.

Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak

On the tough start to the game…

“We just absolutely got punched in the mouth defensively. We played hard; offensively, we look like a junior high team to start the game. Give a lot of credit Stanford with their intensity. They play like a team that was on the bubble and you know, all those turnovers, 15 points in the first half. I think nine of our first 11 possession were turnovers.”