Utah stifles California for 60-45 win

NCAA Basketball
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP)Timmy Allen scored 21 points to help Utah beat California 60-45 on Saturday night.

Eight different players scored to help the Utes earn their second straight Pac-12 victory. Utah (14-9, 5-6 Pac-12) also beat the Bears for the third straight time in the series.

Matt Bradley scored 13 points and collected seven rebounds to lead California (10-13, 4-6). The Bears remain winless in seven true road games this season.

Utah built a double-digit lead multiple times in the first half after taking advantage of a pair of prolonged shooting droughts by California.

The Bears went 31/2 minutes without scoring a basket, allowing Utah to rip off a 12-2 run and take a 17-6 lead. Riley Battin and Rylan Jones made back-to-back baskets to punctuate the spurt.

Paris Austin keyed a temporary surge with back-to-back layups. Kareem Story followed with a 3-pointer that made it 17-14. Then California went cold again, missing five straight shots and failing to score over a four-minute stretch.

Utah did not waste the opportunity to pull away again. Alfonso Plummer made back-to-back baskets and Battin buried a 3-pointer to extend Utah’s lead to 24-14.

California had a chance to rally when the Utes missed 8 of 9 shots to open the second half. The Bears could not overcome their own offensive struggles long enough to get back into the game. They closed to within 36-28 on Andre Kelly’s layup before going 31/2 minutes without scoring.

Utah finally found a spark behind a pair of layups from Mikael Jantunen that fueled a 12-5 run. Branden Carlson buried a jumper to cap the run and give the Utes a 48-33 lead with 6:51 remaining.

BIG PICTURE

California: Too much inconsistency on offense doomed the Bears. California shot just 32% from the field and endured too many long stretches without a point at critical junctures.

Utah: The Utes continue to make defensive strides as Pac-12 play progresses. Utah forced 17 turnovers and scored 22 points off those turnovers.

UP NEXT

California hosts No. 23 Arizona on Thursday.

Utah visits Oregon State on Thursday.

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