After winning at USC on Thursday night, Utah entered Saturday’s game at UCLA with some confidence and they played that way in the first half. Despite Jordan Loveridge and Delon Wright combining to score just four points the Utes trailed by just two points at the half, 33-31. With that being the case, Larry Krystkowiak’s team had to be optimistic about their chances of leaving Pauley Pavilion with a win that would look good on their resume.
Unfortunately for Utah they failed to take care of the basketball to start the second half, resulting in a 14-0 UCLA run that gave the Bruins complete control of the game. UCLA would go on to win 80-66, with Jordan Adams scoring 24 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field. He wasn’t the only standout on this afternoon, as Kyle Anderson added 16 points, ten rebounds and five assists, and Norman Powell accounted for 13 points.
Powell’s progression this season may be overlooked by some, but he has been one of the Pac-12’s most improved players. After averaging just 6.1 points per game as a sophomore Powell’s up to 11.3 ppg this season, shooting nearly 56% from the field. And against Utah, two of his points came on the one-handed dunk over Dallin Bachynski that can be viewed at the top of this post.
Players such as Adams and Anderson will lead the way as UCLA looks to chase down No. 2 Arizona, which currently holds a one-game lead over the Bruins in the Pac-12 standings. But the play of supplementary pieces such as Powell will be important as well.