Utah basketball: 3 keys to No. 9 UCLA’s gutsy 63-58 win over the Utes

Snow fell outside the Huntsman Center Thursday night, and the No. 9-ranked UCLA Bruins nearly fell inside. Emphasis on “almost”. The Runnin’ Utes scared UCLA as nine-point underdogs but fell just short, losing 63-58 at Salt Lake City to suffer their seventh straight loss.

Here are 3 keys to UCLA’s five-point victory:

• Johnny Juzang carried the Bruins, scoring 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting, and UCLA made the biggest plays in the stretch to escape Salt Lake City with a win. The Utes missed a pair of open 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds that would have tied the game, and UCLA’s Jules Bernard sealed it with free throws 1.5 seconds from time.

• Both Gachs scored 3 points with 5:23 remaining to give the Runnin’ Utes a 54-51 lead, but Utah won the next three possessions without scoring and UCLA jumped ahead. Lazar Stefanovic’s triple with 2:13 to go brought the Utes down to within a point, but Utah got just one point on its next three possessions.

• Stefanovic led Utah with 18 points, making four 3-pointers. The Utes finished with 11 3-pointers, while Gach and Gabe Madsen had two apiece.

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