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Utah basketball: Utes blasted by Harvard in Bahamas

Published November 25, 2011 12:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utes' losing streak reached three Thursday and, like a platinum card on Black Friday, it may be nowhere near its limit.

The latest team to take advantage of Utah's struggles was Harvard, the Ivy League favorite, which jumped out to a 21-4 lead at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas and cruised to a 75-47 win against Utah.

Josh Watkins and Blake Wilkinson each scored 12 points for Utah, while Brighton High School product Corbin Miller scored 13 points to lead Harvard.

The Utes fell to 1-3 and on Friday will play Massachusetts, which frustrated No. 20 Florida State with its defensive pressure Thursday before getting blown out by the Seminoles 73-53.

"We haven't proven we're very good at taking care of the basketball when we're not pressed," first-year Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said on ESPN 700 following the loss to Harvard. "I can't say I'm real excited to play against a team that that's kind of their blueprint."

Against Harvard, turnovers were again at issue for the Utes. They turned the ball over 16 times. Watkins, Utah's leading scorer in each game this young season, committed five turnovers and had just three assists before leaving the game with 11:26 left after falling on his right wrist. His status for Friday's game is unknown.

If there was a bright spot for Utah, it was Wilkinson. The walk-on from Viewmont High School had made just one field goal through the first three games as a starter. Thursday he was replaced in the starting five by junior college transfer Javon Dawson.

In addition to his 12 points, Wilkinson grabbed a career-best eight rebounds and recorded a block as well as three steals.

"I just went after it," Wilkinson said. "I was happy with what I did. It gives me confidence, personally. We have a hard-working team, the guys on the floor in the second half especially."

Utah stuck with Harvard better in the final 20, getting outscored 26-23 after trailing 49-24 at halftime.

Harvard, meanwhile, committed just eight turnovers and had 14 assists. The Crimson shot 44.3 percent from the field.

"I've watched so many games of theirs," Krystkowiak said, "and it's actually a little bit of a blueprint for where we want to go."

boram@sltrib.comTwitter: @oramb