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3 keys to Utah’s 52-49 loss to Mississippi State


Cold shooting and some untimely turnovers led to the Runnin’ Utes’ 52-49 loss to Mississippi State on Wednesday night in the championship game of the Fort Myers (Fla.) Tip-Off.

Utah had a chance to tie the game when MSU’s Tolu Smith missed a free throws with 4.6 seconds left. But after a timeout Rollie Worster’s 3-point attempt was well short at the buzzer. Utah dropped to 4-2, while Miss State improved to 6-0.

Here are three keys to the Utes’ second loss of the season:

• Utah’s Branden Carlson did not score in the game, going 0 for 6 from the field. That after Carlson failed to score in the second half of Utah’s 68-64 win over Georgia Tech in the first-round game Monday. Ben Carlson and Marco Anthony led the Utes with 10 points apiece.

• The Utes led 45-42 with 4:37 remaining, then missed some big free throws down the stretch. Utah finished 11 of 18 from the line, while the Bulldogs were 9 of 16 from the stripe. The loss ended a strong defensive effort for the Utes, who held Miss State to 25% shooting from the floor.

• Mississippi State broke from a 10-10 tie to lead by as many as eight in the first half, but couldn’t put away despite 11 first-half turnovers from the Utes. The Bulldogs shot a woeful 24% from the field (9 of 38) and 16% from the 3-point line (3 of 19) in the first half but hit the break with a 25-21 lead. The Utes got 15 points from their bench, while the Bulldogs got none. Dashawn Davis led MSU with 18 points, all from 3-point range.





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