Runnin’ Utes Can’t Come Up With The Win Against USC

Feb 25, 2023, 7:53 PM | Updated: 8:13 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Runnin’ Utes closed out the Pac-12 regular season home schedule at the Huntsman hosting USC for Senior Night but couldn’t come up with the win.

The Utes had UCLA on the ropes Thursday night before they pulled away and the same thing happened in Saturday’s affair with the Trojans. USC jumped out to a quick lead while the Utes spent the entire 40 minutes chasing them and staying close without ever getting ahead. The Trojans ultimately walked away with a 62-49 victory.

Utah finished the night shooting 32% from the field, and 23% from the 3 compared to USC’s 42% from the field and 48% from the three. The Utes did a great job rebounding hauling in 42 off the glass, but poor shooting off those second chances did them in.

USC, Utah First Half

Branden Carlson got the Utes on the board first after USC controlled the tip giving Utah an early 2-0 lead. The Trojans quickly answered the call on their next possession with a three to go up one, 3-2. By the first timeout USC had a narrow 5-4 lead over the Utes with 15:28 left on the clock.

After losing out on their first two possessions out of the first media break, Utah found themselves in a bit of a hole with USC capitalizing on mistakes, 13-5. Marco Anthony hit a layup to help get the Utes back on track, 13-7. Jaxson Brenchley went for the three that didn’t quite make it, but Keba Keita was there to cleanup, 16-9.

Lazar Stefanovic hit a layup for the Utes and Ben Carlson followed it up with a three to get Utah within six, 19-13, with under nine minutes to play in the first half. BC hit a long two and Bostyn Holt found a wide-open lane for a layup to making the score, 22-18 in favor of the Trojans.

Brenchley hit a three out of a much-needed Utah timeout getting the Utes back within seven, 28-21. Keita was in the right spot at the right time for the put-back, but USC quickly hit a three on their next possession, 31-23, with under three left to play in the first half. Mike Saunders Jr. beat the buzzer on a jumper to inch the Utes closer, 31-25. Stefanovic sank a three near the one-minute mark before the Trojans answered back with their own, 34-28.

Trojans, Utes Second Half

Out of the half BC and Anthony got some quick scores to get within four of USC, 37-33. Anthony followed up the performance a few minutes later with a jumper, 41-36. Utah went on over a three-minute scoring drought before Anthony pushed to the rim for two making it a 43-38 game. A little trickery opened Saunders Jr. for a three that got the crowd back into the game, 46-41.

Saunders Jr. went up for the layup out of the break, 48-43. Keita added two off the glass at the 6:50 mark after USC pulled away again, 52-46. BC sank a timely three with under six minutes to play making it a 55-49 game.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Runnin’ Utes Can’t Come Up With The Win Against USC