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3 takeaways from the Utah Utes’ 56-52 loss to USC

SHARE 3 takeaways from the Utah Utes’ 56-52 loss to USC

Southern California forward Nick Rakocevic, center, lays up a shot during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Utah, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Los Angeles.

Kyusung Gong, AP

Thanks to some abysmal shooting, particularly in the second half of Thursday night’s conference bout against the USC Trojans, the Utah Utes came up just short in Los Angeles, falling to the Trojans 56-52.

Here are three takeaways from the Utes’ loss to the Trojans.

  • Utah led for the vast majority of the game, until the Trojans reeled off a 12-0 run midway through the second half. USC would go up by as many as six points at the tail end of the burst before the Utes battled back to keep the game a one possession contest the rest of the way. Part of the reason for the USC run was simply awful shooting by the Utes, who shot under 25% from the field in the second half.

  • Both teams struggled to shoot the ball all night, to an excessive degree. Utah made just 18 of 55 total field goal attempts, while USC was just 19 of 51. As a result, both teams made out like bandits on the boards. The Utes recorded 36 rebounds, including 12 of the offensive variety, with the Trojans not far behind with 34 total rebounds and nine offensive boards.

  • Despite being the Utes’ worst offender when it came to missing shots, Timmy Allen was still the teams most important player in the contest. He scored a team-high 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added three assists and three steals.

Allen had the ball in a one-on-one situation late with a chance to send the game into overtime, but his drive to rim was denied by USC’s Onyeka Okongwu. Okongwu’s defensive stop, which forced a jump ball that USC won, followed what proved the game-winning basket, scored by USC center Nick Rakocevic.

Up next

Sunday, Feb. 2, at UCLA, 1 p.m. MST

Thursday, Feb. 6, vs. Stanford, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 8, vs. California, 6 p.m.