For the first time since they joined the Pac-12 in 2011, the Utah Runnin’ Utes have been swept at home by the Washington schools.
They dropped a 77-61 decision to Washington State on Saturday afternoon at the Huntsman Center, two days after losing 74-68 to Washington.
Here are 3 keys to the Utah’s loss to the Cougars.
• Trailing by 10 at halftime after playing miserably on defense in the first half, the Runnin’ Utes fell behind by as many as 19 in the second half before making a couple small rallies. They could get no closer than eight, however, and lost their fourth straight game.
• Utah center Branden Carlson missed the game due to appendicitis, and the Utes struggled to replace him inside. Utah was outrebounded 39-33 and outscored 28-18 in the paint.
• Washington State went 7 of 11 from 3-point range in the first half to take a 40-30 lead at the break. The Cougars killed the Utes on the pick and roll in the first 20 minutes as well, as four-star recruit Mouhamed Gueye had 11 in the first half. Utah’s pick-and-roll defense in the second half was much better, but the Cougars stayed hot from deep and finished with 12 3-pointers.