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3-Points: Utah 79, USC 71

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The Trojans drop their fifth in a row as the Utes quell a late rally.

Click here for the recap and box score.

Fight to the Finish

Stuck in last place and down 17 points in the second half, USC could have easily thrown in the towel tonight, but the Trojans cut the deficit to four in a spirited late rally.  "We are a team.  I'm proud of our players," said head coach Andy Enfield.  "The lull tonight was a little longer than I hoped.  We've lost a lot of close games and tonight was another one.  Our guys aren't giving up, we're playing hard."  Byron Wesley, who led the team with 20 points, keyed the charge as did Nikola Jovanovic, who broke out of a slump to score 9 points and grab 7 rebounds. 

Dying From Distance

Utah had three players account for 10 made threes including Jordan Loveridge's dagger to seal the Utes victory in the final two minutes.  As a team, the Utes made 10/19, while the Trojans could only muster 5/16 from behind the arc.  The Trojans also missed 10 free throws and several shots around the rim on an inefficient night offensively.  "In the second half, we missed wide open threes with no one within six or seven feet of us," said Enfield.  "We have to make our easy shots, and we have to make our open shots."

A Chance for Others

Enfield made major changes to the starting lineup and rotation providing an opportunity for rarely used freshman Kahlil Dukes to contribute a career-high 10 points.  "Our players have worked hard in practice," said Enfield about the changes which meant more minutes for Dukes, Chass Bryan and Brendyn Taylor. "Some guys came off the bench, played a lot and gave a lot of effort." Dukes' greatest weapon is his shooting ability, and he made 2/5 from three to lead the team.  He also provided much needed defensive intensity highlighted by a steal and a bucket at the pinnacle of the second half run.

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