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Utes end season with late NIT collapse

Utah let a golden opportunity for more postseason play slip through their fingers with a late game collapse...

Utah made Boise State an offer they couldn’t refuse with 4:66 left on the game clock- a chance to tie the game at 61 and eventually take the lead without ever looking back. Now the Utes are left with a horse’s head in their bed for the next seven months of off-season after suffering a 73-68 loss to a team they were leading most of the game while the Broncos move on to the second round of the NIT to face Illinois.

The Utes failed to find a consistent rhythm against the Broncos allowing Chandler Hutchison to have himself a game with 34 total points, the next closest player on BSU’s roster in total points was Marcus Dickinson with 12. The last game of Utah’s season certainly felt like a microcosm for their entire season one step forward and 10 steps back.

"Boise State is a good team," said Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak after the game. “They have been in a little bit of a similar situation that we were, with a lot of new faces and they lost a kid to the draft early. They have done a really good job. They have a lot of weapons. We were good in that basketball game for 32 minutes. It is kind of the story of our season with the turnovers."

16 total turnovers to be exact, eight of which happened in the second half gave Boise State 11 easy points. Add in poor passing and missed shots by the Utes and it is easy to see why their final game didn’t turn in their favor.

One of the lone bright spots for Utah was junior Kyle Kuzma who helped keep the Utes in the game with 21 total points and nine rebounds. Junior David Collette also had a respectable game adding 15 points as well as 11 rebounds earning himself his first career double-double.

"We just let one slip [away]," said Kuzma of the Utes’ effort. "It felt like we had a good opportunity coming out of the half to open the gates and even in the last six minutes of the game. Boise deserves all the credit. They beat us. They made key plays and buckets down in the stretch. We just couldn't stop [Hutchinson].

Utah’s campus is currently on Spring Break and Krystkowiak said the players and staff will most likely spend time with their families decompressing after a disappointing finish before returning next week for final evaluations on the season.

Of particular interest is what Kuzma will choose to do with his future; return to the Utes for his senior season or defer to the NBA.


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