Utah basketball: Utes fall to Oregon State 76-58
Pac-12 basketball • Utah commits 23 turnovers against Oregon State in loss.
Published: February 6, 2012 09:57AM
Updated: February 5, 2012 12:17AM
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Kim Raff |The Salt Lake Tribune University of Utah player Cedric Martin dribbles past Oregon State player Joe Burton during the first half at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 4, 2012.

In a moment, Ute guard Chris Hines was not as fast as 270-pound forward Joe Burton, Oregon State’s enforcer who is not measured in height but in circumference.

After Hines had the ball poked free and didn’t chase it across the half-court line, Burton grabbed the ball and drove for a layup.

The play was Utah’s 76-58 loss to the Beavers in a snapshot: the defensive pressure, the offensive lethargy, the turnovers.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Twenty-three of them.

See the boxscore at http://bit.ly/zwYlz5

Burton’s basket came amid a 13-0 first-half run by the Beavers (15-8, 5-6 Pac-12), who two days after losing by 22 at Colorado were spelled by a Utah team (14-8, 4-6) that appeared unengaged.

“It was like we thought somebody else was going to get it,” coach Larry Krystkowiak said.

Oregon State employed its noted 1-3-1 half-court trapping defense, wreaking havoc on the Utes.

“They got a lot of length and they got a lot of athleticism,” said Utah center Jason Washburn, who had a career-high eight blocks. “It’s not something that we can simulate too much in practice. Coaches came up with a way to beat the pressure in practice, we had trouble executing.”

One game removed from a nearly flawless turnover against Oregon, freshman point guard Kareem Storey had a disastrous performance, committing nine turnovers. He was limited by fouls to just 10 minutes in the first half.

But he was not the only one committing turnovers. Giving the ball to the Beavers was as popular among the Utes as Beats By Dr. Dre headphones.

And the pressing Beavers were happy to take advantage.

“It’s a lot like a shark,” Krystkowiak said. “If they get a little sniff of blood in the water, it’s just going to become magnified and that much harder to deal with.”

When Utah actually had an opportunity to shoot the ball, it did so near its season average, finishing at 40 percent. But it made just 18 baskets, and at halftime had attempted 20 shots fewer than the Beavers.

Krystkowiak said that statistic was “unheard of.”

Everything that worked for the Utes in their 79-68 loss to Oregon on Thursday — a positive night in many regards — was absent against the Beavers. Chris Hines had 20 points against Oregon, but scored just one Saturday and was 0 for 8 from the field. Kareem Storey was lauded for an 11-assist, one-turnover night versus the Ducks. Saturday, that ratio was six-to-nine.

Cedric Martin tied his season high with 19 points, and made 4 of 8 3-pointers and Washburn added 15 points to complement his eight blocks and six rebounds.

The Utes and Beavers played evenly early in the game, the Utes trailing 16-15 before the Beavers’ 13-0 run that put Oregon State up 29-15 with 5:19 remaining in the half.

With just seven games remaining in the regular season, the Utes have little that’s positive to lean on going into the final stretch.

And they certainly didn’t take any steps forward Saturday.

“I don’t know what shut down,” Krystkowiak said, “but we looked very scared and out of sorts.”

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @oramb

Highlights

R Utah is led by guard Cedric Martin’s 19 points and Jason Washburn’s 15 points and eight blocks.

• OSU’s Jared Cunningham, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, finishes with 20 points for the Beavers.

• At halftime, the Utes are 7 of 18 from the field and attempt 20 fewer shots than the Beavers.

• Twenty-three turnovers mark a season high for the Utes. The previous low/high-water mark was 19, which they accomplished twice in November.