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The infamous streak is over.

The Runnin’ Utes finally snapped their program-record 10-game losing streak last week with an 84-59 victory over another team that’s also been struggling, Oregon State.

Could that mark a turning point for Utah?

Though the Utes fell to Oregon 80-77 a couple of days later, they put a major scare into the Ducks.

“They are playing with a lot of spirit. And that is a hard thing to define. Spirit is an amazing thing. And I think you can feel it,” first-year coach Craig Smith said. “That’s what I told the guys after. I don’t know how to describe it, but something really good is happening right now, and we will see where it goes.” 

While it’s been a difficult season for Utah, there are signs of better days ahead. The Runnin’ Utes can build momentum going into next season.

For now, Utah felt a huge sense of relief after ending the losing skid. The Utes also avoided being the only Utah team to lose five consecutive home games.

“It’s amazing. I can smile now,” said freshman guard Lazar Stefanovic, who scored 15 points in the win against the Beavers.

“Well, I like February a lot better than January,” said Smith.

Numbers game

3: Number of former Utes — Eric Weddle, Matt Gay and Terrell Burgess — that will play for the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

7,756: Announced crowd for Utah’s basketball game against Oregon last Saturday.

10: Perfect score registered by Utah gymnast Grace McCallum on the uneven bars against UCLA — the first 10 of her collegiate career.

From the archives

Related
‘Something really good is happening’: Utes’ optimism unfazed after another narrow Pac-12 defeat
Grace McCallum’s perfect 10 drew the attention of Simone Biles
Why this former UVU soccer player may decide outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl
Freshman guard Gianna Kneepkens an instant success for Utah women’s basketball

Extra points

  • 3 reasons to root for the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 2022 (Deseret News)
  • It took a perfect 10, season-high scores and a walk-off beam routine, but Utah defeated rival UCLA (Deseret News)
  • 2022 recruiting class highest rated ever for Utah, Utah State (Deseret News)
  • How national recruiting expert sizes up Utes’ 2022 class (Deseret News)
  • University of Utah taking steps to build a new indoor practice facility for football program (Deseret News)
  • Utah women’s basketball: Utes surprise Washington State to keep NCAA hopes alive (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

Comments from Deseret News readers

“It wasn’t long ago that Utah recruited the State of Utah, California and Hawaii, and that was about it. Now we have players from all over the country — great job, coaches! Washington to Florida, Hawaii to Indiana (and last year, Ohio, with Tavion Thomas). The Florida, Georgia and Alabama kids can play in front of relatives when we open in Gainesville next fall, Texas continues to produce, California will always be a large garden of talent, and some of the best players in Utah will be on the hill next fall. Logan Kendall’s coach said he understands him wanting to transfer to Utah, and looks forward to watching him on Sundays. Keep the transfer pipeline going, coaches! We need more Kendalls, Pledgers and Thomases! Who doesn’t love Rising and his surprising acceleration? But Nate Johnson with his 10.5 100M speed will be the fastest QB in Utah history. (Sorry, Huntley — 10.5 is the pinnacle. Let’s see how Ludwig and Rising help young Nate reach his potential.)”

— 10CC

Up next

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Feb. 12 | 6 p.m. | Men’s basketball | vs. Colorado | @Boulder, Colorado | Pac-12 Network

Feb. 9 | 2 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. USC | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream

Feb. 11 | 8 p.m. | Women’s basketball | vs. Stanford | @Stanford, California | Pac-12 Network

Feb. 12 | 5 p.m. | Gymnastics | vs. California | @Berkeley, California | Cal Live Stream

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