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Utah holds Cal to lowest point total of season

Dec 29, 2022; Berkeley, California, USA; Utah Utes guard Wilguens Jr. Exacte (11) drives the baseline past California Golden Bears forward Grant Newell (14) during the first half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Lazar Stefanovic and Branden Carlson scored 11 points apiece as visiting Utah relied on its defense to beat California 58-43 on Thursday night.

Marco Anthony scored nine points and Ben Carlson added seven points and seven rebounds for Utah (10-4, 3-0 Pac-12), which snapped a two-game losing skid and held the Golden Bears to a season-low point total.

Kuany Kuany had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead Cal (1-13, 0-3), which recorded its first win of the season Dec. 21 against Texas-Arlington. Devin Askew and ND Okafor scored seven points apiece.

Off to its first 3-0 start in conference play since 2014-15, Utah limited the Golden Bears to 34 percent shooting and 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range.

After trailing by nine at the half, Cal used an 11-4 run to pull within 33-31 with just under 14 minutes remaining.

Utah responded with a 13-0 run and stretched its lead to 46-31 on Stefanovic’s trey with 9:45 left.

Gabe Madsen, who made seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 26 points in Utah’s 75-71 loss to TCU on Wednesday, hit his only trey of the game with 5:15 remaining. That put the Utes ahead 50-39.

Branden Carlson converted two foul shots with 3:54 to extend the lead to 54-41, and the Utes were able to secure their fourth straight win over the Bears.

Cal never led again after scoring the first two points of the game. Utah limited the Golden Bears to 32 percent shooting in the first half and took a 27-18 advantage into intermission.

Madsen and Branden Carlson, Utah’s top two scorers entering the game, were held to a combined four points in the first half. Madsen finished with five points, well below his season average of 14.

Cal guard DeJuan Clayton made his season debut and scored five points in 22 minutes off the bench.

Rollie Worster grabbed seven rebounds for Utah, which shot 39.6 percent from the field and a season-low 15.8 percent (3 of 19) from beyond the arc.

–Field Level Media