Utes Show Little Fight in Loss to UCLA

Utah's effort for the first 32 minutes leaves a lot to be desired

Utah played, by far, their worst game of the season in dropping a 69-59 decision to a mediocre UCLA team at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night. A lackluster performance that missed the energy, fire, and pin-point execution we've come to expect out of Larry Krystkowiak's team this season doomed the Utes in the shocking loss.

What We Liked
-The early defense. Utah came to play defensively to start the game, making UCLA work hard for everything. It didn't last though.
-Brandon Taylor. The little guy was the only one that came to play for the first 30 minutes of the game, keeping Utah close with some 3s, including one bomb from about 27 feet.
-Delon Wright in the final 8 minutes. Wright attacked UCLA and got to the rim at ease in the closing minutes as he scored 11 of his 15 in the final 8:12 of the game.
-Tucker from deep. Dakari Tucker continues his hot shooting, knocking down another pair of triples.

What We Didn't Like
-The body language. Utah looked frustrated all night, like they couldn't understand why they weren't beating a team they destroyed just a few weeks ago.
-The switch. It took Utah (and especially Delon Wright) 32 minutes to turn it on and show some urgency. No excuse.
-Loveridge disappears again. 1 for 8 from the field for 3 points. Utah won't win many on the road if he's doing that (and won't win more than 2 games in the tournament). Loveridge is 5 for 26 (19.2%) on 2 point field goal attempts in Pac 12 play this season.
-Interior defense in the second half. Norman Powell attacked the left side of the rim time and time again, either laying it in or drawing a foul. Utah couldn't stop him. Powell is an elite athlete, something Utah has had trouble with this season.
-Sloppy offense. 14 turnovers is too many against a UCLA team that doesn't do well in it's half-court offense. Turning it over lets them get out and run, which creates easy buckets.

What's Next
An early Sunday game across town against USC, the conference's last place team. It's the perfect matchup for Utah to bounce back and salvage a split as the Trojans are downright dreadful.

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