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Fresno State sends Utes to sixth straight loss

Published: Saturday, Dec. 3 2011 4:22 p.m. MST

Utah's Josh Watkins, second from left, faces the Fresno State defense in first-period NCAA college basketball game action on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, in Fresno, Calif. Fresno State defeated Utah 82-52.

Eric Paul Zamora, AP

FRESNO, Calif. — The Utah basketball team lost its sixth straight game Saturday afternoon, falling to Fresno State 82-52 at the Save Mart Center.

The Utes dropped to 1-6, their worst start in history, surpassing four other seasons when they began 1-5.

"I wasn't pleased with the way we competed overall," said first-year Ute coach Larry Krystkowiak. "We had a hard time at both ends of the floor."

Krystkowiak was fairly happy with the Utes' overall effort in the first half, saying "We were right there at halftime."

The Utes had trailed by just three late in the first half, but allowed a layup at the buzzer to go down 35-25 at halftime.

However, they came out slow in the second half when the Bulldogs made six of their first seven shots. Fresno State upped the margin to 14 with a pair of quick baskets and pushed the lead to 26 with six minutes left.

Chris Hines led the Utes with 14 points, including 4 of 10 from 3-point range. Jason Washburn had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Josh Watkins scored 11 and Cedric Martin had 10 points.

Kevin Foster led Fresno State with 16 points, while Kevin Olekaibe and Steven Shepp each scored 15.

The Utes outrebounded the Bulldogs 29 to 27, but had 13 turnovers to just four for Fresno. The Bulldogs shot 58.2 percent from the field compared to 34.7 for the Utes.

"It's easy to lose," Krystkowiak said. "You find yourself in a special place when you can't accept losing and you have players who take it as hard as the coach. Right now we're kind of searching."

The Utes will return home for two games this week against Cal State Fullerton Wednesday and BYU Saturday.

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