Utes win; stop 2 game slide

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Will Clyburn scored 21 points and guard Chris Kupets came off the bench to score a career-high 17 as Utah broke a two-game losing streak with a 76-63 victory over Fresno State on Tuesday night.

The Utes (4-2) began pulling away late in the first half when Clyburn scored six points in a span of 2:21. A dunk off an offensive rebound by David Foster boosted Utah's lead to 23-16 with six minutes left.

Utah led 33-22 at halftime thanks to 12 Fresno State turnovers and a 13-6 advantage in offensive rebounds. The Utes then went on an 11-2 run to start the second half, increasing their lead to 44-24 over Fresno State (1-4).

Greg Smith, the Western Athletic Conference freshman of the year last season, managed just nine points in 35 minutes for the Bulldogs. Bennie Rhodes led Fresno State with 15 points, while Kevin Olekaibe added 13.

The Bulldogs had a miserable night shooting, hitting just 7 of 25 shots in the first half and 19 of 49 overall (38.8 percent). Utah fared even worse (37.3 percent) but held a commanding 48-33 advantage in rebounds, the most in four years under coach Jim Boylen. Clyburn led Utah with nine boards, while Jason Washburn added eight.

Fresno State is now 0-2 in the state of Utah this season, having opened the year with an 84-56 road loss to BYU.
The Bulldogs, led by former BYU coach Steve Cleveland, have dropped three straight overall as they continue efforts to rebuild.

Utah worked in plenty of reserves in the second half, with Kupets hitting 5 of 9 shots and 7 of 8 free throws. Josh Watkins added 16 points for Utah and Jason Washburn scored 10 points on 3 of 5 shooting.


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Lynn DeBruin Sports Writer


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