The Pits

Once again, turnovers and poor shooting plagued the Runnin’ Utes, and once again, the result was a loss.

The Utes (10-10, 3-6 MWC) fell 64-53 to New Mexico (13-9, 4-5 MWC) on Saturday afternoon, giving them their fourth-straight loss in The Pit.

On the afternoon, the Utes shot 39 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers, nine of which came from top scorers Johnnie Bryant and Bryant Markson.

“You go back to an old nemesis, which is turnovers,” Ute head coach Ray Giacoletti said. “You give your opponent, especially on the road, too many opportunities.”

In the first half, the Utes only hit on 5-of-20 shots they took from the field and turned the ball over 13 times but were still in the game at halftime, trailing 29-21.

The Lobos finally began to pull away as the second half wore on, building their lead to 56-40 with 5:48 left in the game. But unlike many of the U’s road losses this season, the Utes battled back.

Led by some perimeter marksmanship from Bryant, the Utes went on a 9-0 run to pull within seven with 3:41 left to play. But the U would pull no closer as the Lobos got points from a layup, two free throws and a clutch steal to put the game out of reach.

Bryant led the Utes with 15 points, and Markson had 13 points and six rebounds. Shaun Green was the only other Ute in double figures with 11 points.

The Lobos were spurred by junior forward Joel Box, who was making his first start of the year. Box went 4-for-6 from the field to finish with 12 points, five rebounds and two steals.

David Chiotti and Mark Walters scored 14 apiece for the Lobos to lead the team.

After going 1-1 on their road trip, the Utes now return home. They will do battle with archrival BYU on Wednesday at the Huntsman Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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