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Utes fall to UCLA, 76-49

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LOS ANGELES — Utah's road woes continued in UCLA's home away from home. The Utes dropped a 76-49 decision to the Bruins at the Los Angeles Sports Arena Thursday night, extending the program's skid outside the Huntsman Center to 12 games over the past two seasons.

Utah (5-15, 2-6) never led in the latest setback and managed to tie the score just twice. UCLA (11-9, 4-4) broke an early 11-11 standstill by scoring six straight points to take the lead for good in the inaugural Pac-12 meeting between the teams.

The Bruins went on to build a 36-21 halftime advantage as Joshua Smith and David Wear combined for 16 points. Chris Hines topped the Utes with eight.

Utah's first three baskets came from beyond the arc. Hines hit two of the 3-pointers, while Dijon Farr had the other. The shots allowed the Utes to overcome an early deficit and even things up at 9-9.

An exchange of scores followed before UCLA's decisive run. Utah never drew closer than four points after that. The Utes turned the ball over eight times in the pivotal half and shot just 34.8 percent (8-of-23) from the floor.

Things grew worse in the second half as the Bruins extended their lead to as many as 36 points.

The lopsided loss followed Utah's biggest victory of the season — a 64-43 win over Arizona State Jan. 21 in Salt Lake City.

The Utes will remain in Los Angeles to face USC on Saturday.

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer