Yes, the Utes' 82-64 blowout loss to Oregon State on Wednesday night at Gill Coliseum featured many contributing factors. But a lack of execution on all areas of the game stood out.
Against a team with one Pac-12 win, Utah looked mostly overwhelmed. Against a team that's struggled against the rest of the league, the Utes looked vastly inferior. And in an attempt to string together consecutive wins for the first time in conference play, Utah failed miserably.
"We made a lot of mistakes, and coach [Larry Krystkowiak] told us that a lot of our pain was self-inflicted tonight," freshman point guard Brandon Taylor said. "We have to stop taking punches. We have to learn how to stay aggressive and to play with heart. That didn't happen tonight, and we're going to keep struggling if we don't learn how to fight back."
Outside of the first few minutes and possessions, the Utes never led. Down 25-16, they put together a 9-0 run to tie the game. But a 9-0 spurt the other way supplied Oregon State with a 34-25 halftime advantage.
It only got more frustrating from there for Utah.
It was OSU that instead struck first, putting together a run to lead 45-29 before Krystkowiak angrily called a timeout. Utah didn't surrender, for the most part. In fact led by Taylor and Jarred DuBois the Utes twice cut the deficit to less than 10 points.
But Oregon State was way too much for Utah on this night. The Beavers kept scoring and consistently got stops, turning the matchup for the Pac-12 basement into a blowout. Krystkowiak put his walk-ons in with a little less than two minutes remaining.
"We made a lot of little mistakes that cost us," Krystkowiak said. "I can remember several instances where we broke down schematically. Usually, you have to go back and look at the film to see breakdowns. So if I can remember them, I know that we made a lot of mistakes."
Taylor was the best player on the floor for Utah. He scored a career-high 21 points and added six assists. DuBois made his return to the starting lineup, and scored 20, many of them coming in the second half.
But Burton almost notched a triple-double against the Utes. The power forward scored 17 points, passed for 10 assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Nelson was equally as effective, scoring a game-high 26 points on just 10 shots.
Utah falls to 10-12 overall with the loss. The defeat puts the Utes in sole possession of last place in the league, with a tough game at nationally ranked Oregon looming on Saturday.
"We just have to go back and prepare for the next game," Taylor said.
O Utah is outrebounded 41-33.
• Oregon State goes on a 9-0 run to end the first half, taking control for good.
• The Utes fall into last place in the Pac-12.