Utah looks to get back on track vs. Stanford

Utah will try to regain some momentum heading into the final two weeks of the regular season when the Utes host Stanford in a Pac-12 game on Thursday night in Salt Lake City.Utah (16-11, 7-9 Pac-12) is coming off an 89-65 blowout loss at Colorado on Saturday, blunting its one-point win at UCLA a week earlier.The Utes have dropped four of their past five, leaving them alone in eighth place in the conference standings, one spot below where they were picked to finish in the preseason coaches’ poll.”What’s disappointing, we have a lot of guys that are a veteran group,” Utah coach Craig Smith said. “We need more leadership.”Colorado shot 54.2 percent from the floor against Utah, including 10-for-21 from 3-point distance. It was a much different defensive performance than against UCLA, which was held to 39.7 percent from the floor and 5-for-21 from behind the arc.”We have to have a presence on the perimeter,” Smith said. “We’ve got to be able to guard the ball. I don’t know how many blow-bys there were (against Colorado), but there were a lot.”Stanford (12-15, 7-10) beat Utah 79-73 when they met on Jan. 14 in Palo Alto, Calif., helping the Cardinal to a 4-2 start in conference play, but they’ve gone 3-8 since to fall into a tie for ninth with Washington.

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