The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Another helping of rocky road

In case there was any doubt left, Colorado State guard Sean Morris summed up what most Ute fans have already admitted this season.

“They are a 100 percent different team without Bogut,” the CSU sophomore said after the Rams (12-4, 1-2 MWC) dispatched the Utes 84-78 on Saturday afternoon in Fort Collins.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against Colorado State and gave the Utes (8-7, 1-3) seven losses on the season-one more than last year’s Bogut-led squad had all year.

While the outlook could be seen as grim, the Utes are improving on the road and turned in a spirited effort on Saturday, especially considering the heartbreaking loss last Wednesday at home to San Diego State.

On Saturday, the Ute defense took a break in the first half, so much so that the team could not quite complete its comeback in the second half.

The Rams shot 65.5 percent in the first period en route to a 48-40 halftime advantage

In the second half, the Utes came out with renewed focus, and while they still couldn’t stop the Rams from making baskets, the Utes made more of their own.

After starting the half on a 15-7 burst, the Utes found themselves even at 55-55.

“We had to do something different the second half because we had to catch up and score,” Ute head coach Ray Giacoletti said. “We got around to being more aggressive and having the game start going our way.”

After some back-and-forth play, Johnnie Bryant hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 69 apiece with 6:37 to play. But that would be the last time the Utes were that close, as the Rams closed the game out from there.

“We came out and had a good run in the second half,” Ute forward Bryant Markson said. “(But) they started making big shots.”

For the game, the Utes shot an impressive 54.5 percent, but it paled in comparison to CSU’s 64 percent mark.

Markson was the U’s go-to player, finishing with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists.

Cory Lewis led CSU with 19 points, and Morris chipped in 18. Jason Smith had 17.

“I think we really stepped up today,” Lewis said. “Sean and I took it upon ourselves to play better than we have been.”

The road won’t get any easier for Utah, which heads to Air Force (15-2, 3-1) for a nationally televised game on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN2.

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