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Runnin' Utes down Texas State for first road win

By Tyson Maddy, ksl.com Contributor | Posted - Dec 1st, 2012 @ 1:02pm



SAN MARCOS, Texas — For the first time since Feb. 19, 2011, the Runnin' Utes have won a road game, defeating Texas State 74-69.

In the 21-plus months since that 62-60 win at New Mexico, Utah had lost 19-straight non-exhibition contests played away from the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Until Friday night.

Jarred DuBois scored 21 points to lead the Utes to their first road win under second-year head coach Larry Krystkowiak. Fellow senior Jason Washburn finished the night with 18 points, six rebounds and three blocks, while true freshman Jordan Loveridge added 17 points and eight boards.

"(DuBois) is leading us out there on the floor, keeping us up," Washburn said. "We’re just lucky to have him, and he’s performing at an absolutely high level for us right now."

After trailing 55-54 with 7:17 remaining in the game, DuBois and Loveridge took over. The duo scored eight straight to put the Utes back on top, 62-55, with 5:10 to play.

"There’s no limit to (Loveridge's) game," Washburn continued. "He’s multi-dimensional in that he can stretch the floor and get to the rim. I love playing with him."

In all, it was a 14-2 Utah run, capped by a Glen Dean 3-pointer to make it 68-57 with 2:19 left.

Texas State wasn't going down without a fight, however, as Vonn Jones and Wesley Davis hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final seconds of the game to bring the Bobcats within five late.

The Utes had also encountered trouble closing out the first half of play. They led 26-16 with 5:10 remaining, but again gave up back-to-back 3-balls in the final minute, allowing Texas State to close the deficit to three, 33-30, at the break.

The teams traded baskets early in the second half, until DuBois and Loveridge keyed Utah's victory-clinching run.

"We were 2-for-10 from three in the first half and we stressed at halftime that we needed to get the ball inside," Krystkowiak said. "Jordan started driving and getting inside and again, we were adamant that that was something we needed to do in the second period."

"Coach told us we needed to attack the glass, offensively and defensively," Washburn said. "He said that if we could get to the rim, we would score or draw fouls."

Junior forward Joel Wright came off the bench to lead Texas State with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Seniors Jones and Matt Staff each added 16, with Staff nabbing 10 boards for the Bobcats, who fall to 3-4 on the season.

Utah, meanwhile, improves to 5-2 — just one win shy of its 2011-12 win total — and will return to Salt Lake City to host Boise State (5-1) on Tuesday night, a game that will tip off at 6:30 p.m. MST. The Utes will no doubt be seeking payback after receiving an 80-59 drubbing in Boise last season.

"I think right now we are further ahead defensively," Krystkowiak said. "We have been harping focus on defense, but you need to do that and continue to play hard when faced with pressure on the other end. We grew up mentally tonight and we will continue to improve if we are strong and disciplined with the ball."

"It just feels great to get a road win," Washburn said.

Tyson Maddy has covered the University of Utah football and men's basketball teams as a contributing writer for KSL.com Sports since 2011.

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