No. 4 UCLA tops Utah with late rally in SLC

Screen cap courtesy Pac-12 Network

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lonzo Ball had 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds, helping No. 4 UCLA edge Utah 83-82 on Saturday.

The Bruins (18-1, 5-1 Pac-12) overcame a nine-point deficit in the second half despite a poor defensive performance. Aaron Holiday hit a deep 3-pointer with 1:52 left to give UCLA an 81-80 lead and Utah forward Kyle Kuzma missed a contested 3 in the final seconds.

utesThomas Welsh then made two foul shots for the Bruins and Lorenzo Bonam scored in the waning moments for the Utes (12-5, 3-2), providing the final margin.

The back-and-forth game featured nine ties and 12 lead changes. Utah opened the second half with an 11-0 run, but the Bruins answered with a 17-6 stretch.

Welsh had 16 points for UCLA, which shot 48.5 percent from the field. Bryce Alford scored 15 points, and TJ Leaf finished with 12.

Bonam led the Utes with 19 points, and Kuzma finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Utah used an 8-1 lead to take a 24-18 lead, but the Bruins responded with a 19-5 stretch of their own. A pair of Devon Daniels layups started an 8-0 run for Utah, but Alford buried a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to make it 42-40 UCLA at the break.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: The Bruins allowed the Utes to shoot 54 percent (36 for 67) from the field, and they also were outrebounded 34-32 by Utah. While UCLA is one of the best offensive teams in the country, defense has been an issue.

Utah: The Utes showed they can hang with anyone when their offense is clicking. Utah is deep enough to survive an off night from center David Collette and the backcourt wasn’t overmatched in the least.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

UCLA might be able to inch a little higher after No. 1 Baylor’s loss to West Virginia.

UP NEXT

UCLA: Hosts Arizona State on Thursday

Utah: Travels to face Washington State on Wednesday.

Stats: UCLA 83, Utah 82

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

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