Runnin’ Utes Endure Multiple Cold Streaks, Lose to Oregon State on the Road

University+of+Utah+junior+forward+Timmy+Allen+%281%29+in+a+NCAA+Basketball+game+vs.+the+Arizona+Wildcats+at+the+Jon+M.+Huntsman+Center+in+Salt+Lake+City%2C+Utah+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+4%2C+2021.+%28Photo+by+Kevin+Cody+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

University of Utah junior forward Timmy Allen (1) in a NCAA Basketball game vs. the Arizona Wildcats at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Cody | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Cole Bagley, Assistant Sports Editor

 

The University of Utah Runnin’ Utes lost their second-straight game as they endured multiple long cold streaks and were easily beaten by Oregon State, 74-56.

First Half

It was a slow start for the Utes in Thursday night’s contest as Oregon State started off with a 9-2 run through the first three minutes of the game. The Beavers’ game plan was obvious as they attacked the paint with tenacity and got Branden Carlson to sit early with two fouls.

The Beavers continued to feast inside as they were backing down Utah’s defenders with ease and built up a 13-4 lead in five minutes.

But, as per usual, Timmy Allen kept the Utes alive by penetrating several times, earning free throws and completing back-to-back and-one plays in order to close the gap to three with 13 minutes remaining. Altogether, Allen single-handedly fueled an 8-2 run over a four-minute stretch.

Following that run by Allen, both teams experienced a heavy scoring drought. Over nearly a three-minute stretch, neither side could convert a basket, missing plenty of open shots.

With less than three minutes remaining, Utah continued to struggle to convert on wide-open shots as they were 7-17 (41%) from the field and a pitiful 0-5 from three-point range.

Surprisingly, Oregon State was actually shooting worse than Utah percentage-wise, as they were 10-28 (36%) from the field. Despite the poor shooting, the gamechanger was the 10 plus additional shots that Oregon State was able to take compared to the Utes through 17 minutes of play.

Utah finished the first half poorly as they converted just one field goal in the final five minutes of play. The Utes were lucky to only be trailing 30-24 as the only person scoring efficiently was Allen with 12 points on 4-6 (66%) from the field. The rest of the team was a combined 4-16 (25%) from the floor.

Second Half

Utah came out strong as they put together a 13-2 run over the first three minutes of the second half. Carlson was the secret weapon as he threw down a two-handed slam in the face of the Beavers and converted the and-one, splashed home a three, went coast-to-coast for another slam and converted an easy layup. 

But Oregon State responded quickly with back-to-back triples and regained the lead, 38-37 with 15 minutes to go.

After the strong start, Utah went cold yet again as they went 2-10 (20%) over an eight-minute stretch and Oregon State was able to build a 55-39 lead. Utah was settling for contested jumpers and the Beavers shut down the paint which effectively stopped the Utes offense.

Finally, after almost 10 minutes, Riley Battin brought the Utes back to earth as he splashed home a three. The bucket ended a 17-0 run by Oregon State.

Unfortunately for the Utes, the two teams just traded baskets over the final few minutes, and Utah was unable to overcome the massive run they gave up midway through the second half. Utah certainly missed their two starters in Rylan Jones and Mikael Jantunen as they lost to the Beavers, 74-56.

Performance of the Game

Despite the loss, Allen did what Allen does best as he finished with 24 points on 9-17 (52%) from the floor and 6-6 from the charity stripe. It’s great for the Utes to have a player that they can count on for consistent offense, but the most prevalent issue for Utah is that they never know where the rest of the offense is going to come from.

Notable Performances

Carlson put together one of his best performances of the season as he finished with 16 points on 5-7 (71%) from the field and was 5-5 from the free-throw line. Carlson couldn’t be stopped — at the beginning of the second half, he was the main weapon on a 13-2 run out of the gate.

With Jantunen and Jones out, the Utes had to look to the deeper part of their bench against Oregon State. Sophomore center, Lahat Thioune, saw 15 minutes of play against the Beavers and scored a season-high six points. He also snagged two defensive-rebounds in Thursday night’s contest.

Notable Statistic

The Utes committed 20 turnovers to the Beavers’ 12 over the course of the game. Nearly 29% of Utah’s possessions ended in a turnover which greatly impacted their offensive production. Partially due to the number of turnovers, Oregon State finished with 61 total shot attempts to Utah’s 52. It’s difficult to beat a team when they have nine more shot attempts than you.

“There was a lot of sloppy play I thought,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “You’re only gonna be as strong as your weakest link as an offensive and defensive unit and offensively it seemed like we had one person that wasn’t involved with our execution and then you kinda make things up. At times we looked like a deer in the headlights, but that was the story of the game, I thought.” 

A Look Ahead

The Runnin’ Utes dropped to a 9-9 overall record and 6-8 in the conference with the loss. Utah will continue their road trip as they face the Oregon Ducks on Saturday, Feb. 20 with a tip-off of 7 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network and, as always, you can listen to ESPN 700 with Bill Riley on the call.

 

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