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3 keys to Utah’s 71-54 loss to Washington State

The Runnin’ Utes have now lost nine straight games, tying the program record.

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Washington State guard TJ Bamba, right, shoots over Utah guard Lazar Stefanovic during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in Pullman, Wash.

Young Kwak, AP

Utah’s historically bad men’s basketball season got even worse Wednesday night as Washington State routed the Runnin’ Utes 71-54 at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Washington. It was Utah’s ninth-straight loss, matching the longest losing streak in program history.

Utah last lost nine straight games during the 1935-36 season.

Here are 3 keys to the Runnin’ Utes’ 10th Pac-12 loss:

• Utah’s turnover problems returned as the Runnin’ Utes gave the ball away 19 times, including 13 in the first half that allowed Wazzu to jump out to a 33-25 halftime lead. The Cougars scored 19 points off Utah’s turnovers.

• It was a fairly competitive game until Washington State went on a 22-3 run in the second half to take a 55-32 lead with just under 12 minutes remaining. The Utes put together an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 15 with 12 minutes remaining, but WSU regained the momentum and cruised to its fourth Pac-12 win.

• Utah center Branden Carlson returned after sitting out the last five games after an appendectomy on Jan. 8. Carlson looked a bit rusty after entering the game with 15:53 left in the first half but hit a 3-pointer in the second half and finished with eight points in 19 minutes.