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Runnin' Utes commit 20 turnovers in 88-76 loss to down Oregon State team



Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY β€” Nine months removed from a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, Oregon State responded by losing 10 of its 12 games before conference play got into full swing.

The Beavers went from great to forgettable in seemingly an instant. But that 10-loss team was too much for a visiting Utah team in Corvallis as the Utes found themselves on the losing end of a Thursday night conference game. Oregon State shot 63% from the field in the first half and 56% in the game to defeat Utah 88-76 and claim their first conference win of the season.

"I think we did kind of like play down to our competition a little bit," Utah guard David Jenkins Jr. said. "I think that we didn't expect a whole bunch from them because of their record. And I think that's kind of what hurt us.

"These boys came out ready to play. This is Pac-12 play and every single team, no matter their record, no matter if they're 10-0 or they're 0-10, each team is going to come ready to play, and we've got to make sure we match that energy each and every game."

Utah (8-5, 1-2 Pac-12) got Branden Carlson back in the lineup after a two-game stretch without their starting center due to health and safety protocols. But Carlson being back in the lineup couldn't erase 20 turnovers in a game that led to 23 points for Oregon State (3-10, 1-2 Pac-12).

"I don't care what league you're playing in, specifically when you get to this level, you can't turn it over 20 times and expect to win," a frustrated Utah head coach Craig Smith said after the game.

Carlson finished with 9 points and nine rebounds in the loss and was in foul trouble for much of the night as he attempted to combat Roman Silva, who helped the Beavers play and inside-out game and outscore the Utes 40-24 in the post. Carlson fouled out with less than a minute left to play in the game.

"It's never enjoyable losing; we had a golden opportunity tonight to make something happen and we didn't come through," Smith said.

To add to Utah's multitude of turnovers was a hot shooting Oregon State team that made Utah's porous defense pay. Smith said he was "very, very disappointed" with the defensive performance and that his players needed to do a better job of following the scouting report that said Oregon State would get to the basket with layups.

And without fail, much of the 40 points scored in the paint by the Beavers were on layups as Utah let them in with ease.

"It was a little bit of everything," Smith said. 'It wasn't just post defense or it wasn't just guarding the ball, and so that's when you start getting into some trouble when you can't execute that way."

The Beavers used a 13-3 run over a three-minute stretch at the beginning of the game to set the tone for the night. And while Utah battled back and made it a 4-point game late in the first half, Oregon State used another 12-2 run to put distance on the Utes to control a 47-38 lead at the halftime break.

Utah jumped out on a 13-5 run to begin the second half to make it a 1-point game, but Oregon State's Jarod Lucas couldn't miss and pushed the lead back up to 8, and the Beavers kept their distance in the win.

Lucas, who was one of five players in double figures for the Beavers, led with a game-high 25 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Warith Alatishe added 16 points and five rebounds, Dashawn Davis had 13 points and eight assists, and Silva added 12 points and six rebounds in the win.

Utah shot 50% from the field in the first half, including 58% from behind the arc on seven made 3-pointers. But for as good as the shots were falling the first half, Utah couldn't get them to fall in the second and finished the game shooting 43% from the field.

David Jenkins Jr., who once again came off the bench Thursday and was a big reason for the Utes keeping it as close as they did, went 4 of 5 from behind the arc to lead Utah with 13 points at the break. He finished with a team-high 22 points and four rebounds.

Marco Anthony was the only other player for Utah to score in double figures. He finished with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists in the loss.

"It's so hard to win college basketball games; it's very, very difficult," Smith said. "The margin for error is very fine, and our margin for error is very fine. You're never gonna play perfect, but we have to be able to control the controllables."

Utah will travel to Eugene, Oregon, to take on the Ducks Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. MST.

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