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January 28, 2013

Utes hit 'new low'

Head coach Larry Krystkowiak's post-game comments summarize Utah's 87-56 point loss to Stanford Sunday night.

"We got our butts kicked in every phase of the game. We got our butts kicked in every phase of the game," lamented Krystkowiak. "It's the low point for me since I'I've been here. If you want to come watch some football practice, it starts on Tuesday."

While mismatches abounded on the snowy night, the fact remains that Stanford came into the Huntsman Center with a 2-6 conference record and loser of two of its last three games.

The Cardinal also came in to Utah's first ever Sunday home game as the bottom dweller in the Pac-12 in both field goal percentage (40%) and three point shooting percentage (30.5%) and averaging 68.6 points per game.

Stanford exceeded its season norms Sunday versus the Utes, exploding for 87 points and shot 50.9 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range and had four players score in double figures led by freshman forward John Gage's 19 points.

Conversely, the Utah offense almost completely disappeared against the bigger, deeper, more athletic Cardinal. Justin Seymour led the Utes with 14 points, and the freshman would represent Utah's sole double-digit scorer on the night.

JUCO transfer Renan Lenz added eight points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and one assist, three blocks and two steals and just one turnover.

"I just found my rhythm during the game. The coaches have been telling me what to do and I try to listen to them as best I can," Lenz said of his individual performance. "Today my shots just went in."

Utah has ridden the shoulders of senior center Jason Washburn and freshman forward Jordan Loveridge offensively of late, but the two combined for a total of six points and eight rebounds and combined for 3-10 shooting.

Senior guard Jarred DuBois came alive in the second half to finish with eight points, while Glen Dean, Cedric Martin, Jeremy Olsen and Brandon Taylor each added five points apiece.

The blowout loss developed almost immediately, as Stanford jumped out to a 12-2 lead, and had opened up a 17 point lead by the midway point of the first half and Utah's halftime deficit was 20 points at halftime.

"From the beginning we didn't come ready to play. They were more ready than us, and we didn't't get back at them," explained Lenz. "We're the ones on the court and we're the ones responsible for making the play."

As the early deficit indicates, the Utes came out flat and failed to play with any energy on either side of the ball and Utah was handily beaten in every category. With eight turnovers early in the first half, Utah handed Stanford 12 points and its eight offensive rebounds equated to 16 second-chance points.

Utah would finish with 15 turnovers, which would equate to 22 Stanford points and out-rebounded the Utes 43-27.

Krystkowiak wrapped up his post-game comments with a short summary, but promised a better effort from his team going forward.

"The one thing that we're going to do for the rest of the year is play harder because it was embarrassing to just get outplayed physically in every category," he said. "You can just tell in a game like this when you don't run the first play, and they get the first rebound up off the free throw that we're not where we need to be in order to be competitive."


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