Utah holds on for 77-70 win over USC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jayce Johnson had 13 points and 13 rebounds, Both Gach added 15 points and Sedrick Barefield scored 13 with five assists to lead Utah to a 77-70 victory over Southern California on Wednesday night.
The Utes (12-10, 5-5 Pac-12) led by as many as 23 points in the second half, but a furious rally by the Trojans (13-10, 5-5) could only pull them as close as the final seven points.
Jonah Mathews led USC with 18 points, while Bennie Boatwright had 17 points — all but two coming in the second half — and 12 rebounds.
Utah took a 20-point lead with 2:12 left in the first half. But the Trojans scored the final six points to trail 37-23 at the break. Utah outrebounded the Trojans 24-12 in the half and held USC to 32-percent shooting.
The teams entered as the top two in 3-point percentage in the conference, but Utah was just 6 of 15 while USC hit 2 of 11 in the first half. The Trojans connected on 7 of 16 in the second half to make their run.
Utah: After having a four-game win streak snapped in losing both home games last week, the Utes evened their Pac-12 record at 5-5.
USC: The Trojans are stumbling at a bad time in conference play. After winning seven of nine games, they have now dropped two of their last three to fall back to 5-5 in conference play.
Utah moves across town on Saturday to meet UCLA. The Utes split their series with Bruins last year and are 3-7 all-time at Pauley Pavilion.
USC remains at home to meet Colorado on Saturday. The Trojans have won their last four games against the Buffaloes.