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Missed Free Throws Cost Utah In Loss To USC Trojans

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Utah Utes missed some costly free throws in crucial moments late in their 56-52 loss to the USC Trojans on Thursday night.

Timmy Allen led the Utes with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, but struggled shooting the basketball, going 5-20 from the floor.

Rylan Jones and Riley Battin each scored 10 points for the Utes. As a team, they shot 32 percent from the floor, 6-21 for 28 percent from the three point line and 10-15 from the free throw line.

USC was led by Nick Rakocevic with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Talented freshman forward Onyeka finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jonah Matthews added 13 points for the Trojans.

The Trojans shot 37 percent from the field, 4-17 for 23 percent from beyond the arc and 14-16 from the charity stripe.

Missed Free Throws

The Utes missed some costly free throws in the final four minutes of the second half that would’ve likely given them the win if they would have knocked down their foul shots.

It started with 3:46 remaining when Allen was fouled by Okongwu but made the bucket to tie the game. Allen missed the free throw.

On the other end, Jaxon Brenchley fouled Jonah Matthews when the game was tied, sending the USC senior to the line where he knocked down both free throws.

With 30 seconds left and the game tied at 52, Branden Carlson was fouled on a jumpshot but missed both free throws.

The Trojans took the lead for good when Rakocevic got the offensive putback, gathering a miss from Okongwu.

Utah had a chance to tie the game with 15 seconds but Allen’s layup was well-defended by Okongwu.

No Both Gach, Others Step Up

The Utes didn’t have Both Gach available due to a leg injury. The sophomore guard had been struggling but did not play against USC. Brenchley got the start for Utah. Also, Timmy Allen was under the weather but still played.

The freshman guard finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, shooting 2-4 from beyond the arc.

Carlson had another outstanding game for the Utes, recording 11 points, 3 rebounds and one block.

The Utes dropped their record to 12-8 overall and 3-5 in Pac-12 play. They will finish their two-game road trip on Sunday when they face the UCLA Bruins. The game will begin at 1 p.m. and will be televised on FS1.

The Crimson Corner podcast is the one-stop for all things University of Utah Athletics hosted by Utah insider Trevor Allen. Ute fans will find interviews with current players, coaches, and staff alongside expert analysis of every game, story and angle coming out of the University of Utah.

You can download and listen to the podcast,Β here.