SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Larry Drew II scored a basket with 9 seconds left to put away the Utes at the Huntsman Center Thursday night, 57-53.
Cedric Martin had a season-high 12 points to lead Utah this evening but the Runnin' Utes fell short once again, losing its third straight Pac-12 game.
Jason Washburn also had a stellar evening with his third-straight double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Jordan Loveridge scored in double figures for a team-leading 10th time this season with 11 points. Glen Dean had five assists to lead the Utes and also corralled six rebounds.
Utah held UCLA to its lowest point total of the season and kept star freshman Shabazz Muhammad in check (3-of-13, six points). However, this game was also Utah's worst performance from beyond the arc this year, as it connected on only 20 percent (4-of-20) of its tries.
Four UCLA players reached double figures with Travis Wear scoring 10 of his 12 points in the second half and Jordan Adams adding 12 to help extend the Bruins' win streak to eight games
Early on, a three-pointer by Jarred DuBois tied the score, but UCLA went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 25-18. The Utes would only score one more field goal in the half, a layup by Washburn with 25 seconds remaining.
Utah’s big issue in the first period was turning the ball over. The Utes coughed it up nine times, which led to 10 Bruin points, and only forced one Bruin turnover which they did not capitalize on. UCLA also held a 10-2 edge in paint points.
Martin and DuBois led Utah with seven points apiece while Washburn grabbed five rebounds. As a team, the Runnin’ Utes shot 39 percent, converting only 2-of-11 tries from beyond the arc. Conversely, the Bruins made 41 percent of their attempts and were 4-of-9 from deep.
Trailing 44-32, the Utes went on a 7-0 run getting four points from Jeremy Olsen to climb with 12:09 remaining in the second half. Utah would get it down to a possession on a foul-line jumper by DuBois two minutes later.
The Runnin’ Utes were still behind 55-49 with a little over four minutes left before Loveridge scored consecutive buckets to pull his team within two. However, those would be the final points of the game for Utah as it failed to convert some chances down the stretch and Larry Drew II scored a driving layup to beat the shot clock with nine seconds remaining to put the game out of reach.
Utah was a much better team over the final 20 minutes, out-rebounding the Bruins and winning the turnover battle, 7-3. The Utes also clamped down defensively beyond the arc, holding UCLA to one conversion on six attempts.
The Utes are back at home on Saturday when they host USC at 4 p.m.