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It was a gutsy, memorable performance in overtime that carried Utah to a one-point win over then-No. 8 Wichita State last week.
What sticks in Larry Krystkowiak's mind after watching the film is that it didn't have to be that way.
Ahead by nine with three and a half minutes left in regulation, Utah gave up three 3-pointers and a putback basket, missed a free throw and turned it over twice. And for Utah's upcoming road stretch which begins with BYU on Wednesday night in Provo, that's simply not good enough.
"We missed a bunch of things against Wichita," Krystkowiak said. "We had a chance to put that away and we didn't."
While No. 13-ranked Utah (6-1) is gaining esteem for the way it took down the Shockers at home last week, that has quickly faded into the rear view for the team.
The things they're dwelling on from the game have little to do with the victory. They want to turn the ball over fewer times. They want to make more than the 52 percent of their free throws they made against Wichita State. They want to play better pick and roll defense than last Wednesday, when Utah's safe lead quickly fell apart.
Such mistakes are amplified in environments such as the 20,900-seat Marriott Center, which is sure to bring in a loud, passionate crowd for Utah's biggest in-state rivalry contest. In the absence of a football duel between schools this year, one might expect the Cougars to be all the more inhospitable.
Last year at the Huntsman Center, the Utes scored a resounding 81-64 victory, the program's 126th win of the 105-year series. But the things that went against BYU in last year's raucous home environment are now things Utah must worry about.
"You have to be a little bit better when you go out on the road in some phases," Krystkowiak said. "Execution-wise and having a little bit of moxie to take the crowd out when you need to."
Utah's only been on the road once this year, in a 53-49 loss to ranked San Diego State. Utah struggled to shoot and committed 18 turnovers in a frustrating offensive effort. Krystkowiak later said he thought the crowd played a factor in the game.
The Utes can't afford a repeat performance any time soon: After BYU, Kansas and UNLV are next up on the road- a portion of the schedule that Krystkowiak described as "as challenging a stretch as you can really create."
BYU can punish Utah's sins in a hurry. Boasting the top-ranked scoring offense in the country and the top overall scorer in guard Tyler Haws, the Cougars can put up points quickly if the Utes give away possessions.
Defense has been Utah's most consistent area thus far, and it may be Utah's biggest edge. Leading scorers have struggled against Utah this season: Wichita State's star guards Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet shot a combined 34 percent from the floor.
Haws shot only 3-for-11 last year against Utah. The players would like an encore this week.
"We did a good job on him last year, and we held him way below his average," Delon Wright said. "But he's a real good shooter. We're going to have to do a good job taking away the shots he wants."
Cleaning up the 'little things'
Utah has shot well, defended well and is ranked at No. 13, but there are some areas the Utes would like to improve ahead of a murderous road stretch:
• Free throw percentage 66.7 percent (No. 214)
• Turnover margin plus-0.1 per game ( No. 174)
• 3-point defense 33.6 percent, (No. 188)
No. 13 Utah at BYU
O Wednesday, 7 p.m.
TV • ESPNU