BERKELEY, Calif. — As bad as the Utah basketball team shot the ball in Thursday’s 64-46 loss to Cal, it was a flurry of turnovers late in the first half that really turned the game around.
Things were going quite swimmingly for the Utes when that old bugaboo that has plagued them all season long suddenly surfaced.
The Utes had burst to an eight-point lead against the Bears and were still leading by five points, 24-19, with under five minutes left in the half when the turnover outbreak hit.
First there was a silly pass by Brandon Taylor that led to a Cal dunk and a chewing out for Taylor by Larry Krystkowiak during a quick timeout.
After the timeout, Jeremy Olsen traveled in the lane. Next it was another bad pass from Taylor after Cal had gone ahead 25-24. Finally, after a short missed shot by Jordan Loveridge, Jarred DuBois committed back-to-back turnovers, losing the ball driving through traffic in the lane and then throwing an ill-advised pass that the Bears turned into fast-break points.
“That ball is a piece of gold really and it’s real valuable to our success. We just had that one glitch when we forgot that element of the game,’’ said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “That really got them going. They got out in transition. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that before when eight turnovers led to 15 points. That’s basically a bucket every time you’re turning it over and that’s a recipe for disaster.’’
ROUGH NIGHT: Dallin Bachynski, who hasn’t played much for the Utes lately, had a rough night in his 10 minutes of action.
He missed 5 of 6 free throws and in the final minute missed a wide-open slam dunk, boinking it off the front of the rim. He did finish with a pair of assists and rebounds, in addition to his one point.
“He hasn’t been out there for a while,’’ said Krystkowiak. “I’m sure he’s not on top of the world in terms of his confidence. But we’ve got confidence in him as long as he simplifies the direction he wants to go.’’
OLD-SCHOOL GYM: Haas Pavilion is one of those old-school gyms — and it is a gym rather than an arena — built 80 years ago in 1933.
It was originally called the Men’s Gym and renamed Harmon Gym in 1959 after an Oakland financier. The court was renamed Pete Newell Court in 1987 after Pete Newell, the coach of the Cal national championship team in 1959.
The gym received its current name in 1999 when Walter A. Haas Jr., president and CEO of Levi Strauss, gave a donation of $11 million. The exterior of the building is the same, but the seating capacity nearly doubled to 11,887.
GAME NOTES: Jason Washburn came into the game needing 16 points to become the 35th Ute player to score 1,000 points in his career, but only finished with four on 2-of-9 shooting. ... Ute recruit Delon Wright, a 6-5 swingman from San Francisco City College, was on hand for the game. ... Earlier this year, the Bears beat the Utes 62-57 at the Huntsman Center. ... Attendance was 7,091.