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Provo • Through a full game of tug-of-war with BYU, Utah's 61-58 loss boils down to a stretch where the Utes went cold from the field and missed crucial free throws.

The last seven minutes at the Marriott Center were nothing less than nightmarish for Utah and Larry Krystkowiak. The Utes made just one field goal in that time span. They turned the ball over six times down the stretch, and a 52-46 lead with six minutes remaining dissipated as fast as Matt Carlino hit two 3-pointers in as many possessions.

"This one hurts," junior point guard Glen Dean said. "We had a lot of chances to win this game, and we wanted this one really bad. We came in and had a really good gameplan, and we played well. We just didn't do what we needed to in order to close it out."

In falling short for the third time this season, the Utes led almost throughout. They went up by as much as 12 points in the first half and 11 in the final 20 minutes. They made shots, got stops on defense and held the duo of Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies in check for most of the game.

Carlino, however, saved the Cougars, hitting five 3-pointers and making every big play down the stretch.

"We knew that we were going to have to give up something," Krystkowiak said. "We didn't want Davies or Haws to beat us, because they were providing 60 percent of BYU's offense. We couldn't stop everyone, and Carlino stepped up and hit some big shots. You have to give him credit for that."

Utah was hurt with a bad game from Jarred DuBois at the wrong time. DuBois, the leading scorer for the Utes, scored just four points on 1-8 shooting. More importantly, he turned the ball over six times. Jordan Loveridge led Utah with 14 points, while Dean scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists.

tjones@sltrib.comTwitter: @tjonessltrib