The University of Utah men’s basketball team blew yet another double-digit halftime lead in falling to Cal Saturday night, 72-63, at the Huntsman Center. Here are three quick takeaways.
1. The energy was lacking all night: Even with Utah opening the game well, even when the lead ballooned to as many as 15, there was a noticeable lack of juice from the Utes (5-6, 2-5 Pac-12). That is absolutely mystifying after Utah put together its finest performance just two days ago in a win over Stanford. That speaks to the team’s consistency, or lack thereof through 11 games this season.
2. Second halves have been unacceptable lately: A 10-point halftime lead vs. Oregon, a 10-point halftime lead vs. Colorado, a 12-point halftime lead vs. Cal (7-8, 2-6 Pac-12). All three of those scenarios wound up in losses, marred by the fact those opponents were the aggressor in the second half. Larry Krystkowiak has contended that the effort has been there. Even if you buy that, it doesn’t matter. Blowing those types of leads three times in a week is absurd.
3. That’s a 1-3 homestand: We wrote before the Oregon game that this was going to be a critical four-game homestand, but Utah did not answer the bell enough times in these four games over eight days. The fact Utah was there at the end against Oregon and Colorado is washed away by two facts. One, the aforementioned blown halftimes leads. Two, the loss to Cal, which entered the night rated 159th by KenPom.com. There’s no excuse for that.
The Tribune will update this story