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Southern Cal stifles Utah, 71-56

Jan 14, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans guard Malik Thomas (1) and Utah Utes guard Gabe Madsen (55) battle for the ball in the first half at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Boogie Ellis led host Southern California with 17 points and the Trojans held visiting Utah to 34.4 percent shooting en route to a 71-56 win in Pac-12 Conference action on Saturday in Los Angeles.

USC (13-5, 5-2 Pac-12) got at least eight points from all five of its starters, including 13 from Tre White and 11 from Drew Peterson. Joshua Morgan added eight points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, while Kobe Johnson posted nine points and six rebounds.

Reserve Reese Dixon-Waters scored 11 points, accounting for all but two of the Trojans’ bench points. Thanks to the balanced scoring of the USC starters, however, and the Trojans’ defense, the minimal bench contributions did not matter.

The Utes (12-7, 5-3) shot just 21-of-61 from the floor for the game, including a dismal 8 of 32 (25 percent) in the second half.

Wilguens Exacte Jr. scored two of his seven points on a putback almost six minutes into the second half, pulling Utah to within a point at 48-47. The Utes managed just nine points for the remaining 14:01 of regulation, including a scoreless stretch of 5:23 during which USC extended its lead to double digits.

Branden Carlson led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor, while Rollie Worster chipped in 12. No other Ute scored more than seven. Gabe Madsen finished with six points on 2-of-14 shooting, including 2 of 10 from 3-point range. Carlson had a team-high nine rebounds.

Utah finished 8 of 25 from beyond the arc. USC shot 7 of 16 from long range, led by Ellis’ 3-for-6. Peterson connected on both of his 3-point attempts.

The win was USC’s second straight after losing its previous two.

Utah is now on a three-game losing skid after opening conference play 5-0.

–Field Level Media