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Utah women’s hoops drop to USC

Despite putting up 80 points, the University of Utah women’s basketball team didn’t come out on top against USC Friday night. The Trojans claimed an 84-80 win.

The loss is Utah’s third straight.

The Utes trailed by as much as 14 points in the third quarter, but rallied back in the fourth to tie the game 68-68 with 6:30 remaining on the clock. After USC stretched its lead late in the game, the Utes once again battle back as Niyah Becker hit a key three-pointer with 15 seconds left, followed by a steal by Erika Bean on the in-bounds play to get the ball back.

With two seconds left on the clock, Becker attempted another three-pointer off a screen, but it was blocked with USC getting the rebound. After converting two free throws with just one second on the clock, the two-possession score was too much for the Utes to overcome.

Five Utah players finished with double digits.

Redshirt freshman Dru Gylten led the way with 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting and went 8-for- from the free throw line. Megan Huff added 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists with Kiana Moore also putting up 11 points.

Dre’Una Edwards and Andrea Torres each had 10 points, with Edwards adding seven rebounds and two assists along with Torres’s three boards.

The Utes shot 50-percent from the floor in the first quarter but the Trojans were able to end it on a 9-0 run while holding the Utes scoreless for the final two minutes. The Trojans took a 21-19 advantage.

Utah fought back early in the second quarter, making three straight shots that included two great drives from Bean and a three from Gylten to retake a 29-26 lead with 7:21 left to play, but it was another run by the Trojans that proved costly. USC took off on a 9-0 run to take an eight-point lead with less than five minutes to go, ending the half with a 50-42 lead.

Utah couldn’t get on the same page defensively which allowed USC to go on another run. The Trojans went on a 7-0 run and took a 14-point lead with 5:53 on the clock in the third quarter. Moore was able to hit a huge three with 2:56 remaining in the quarter to make it a nine-point game, but the Trojans were able to survive the third with a 68-59 lead heading into the fourth.

Utah outscored USC 21-16 in the fourth quarter, taking off on a 9-0 run to tie the score 68-68 with 6:30 left in the game. USC once again pulled away to a six-point advantage with less than three minutes to go, but the Utes answered, cutting away at the Trojan lead as Gylten converted two free throws with 34 seconds on the clock to make it a two-point game.

After being forced to foul, USC took a five-point lead with 24 seconds left in the game.

Becker hit a contested three and made it a two-point game.

Bean’s steal with just 15 seconds left gave the Utes a surge of energy, but the final shot attempt would be blocked, eventually sending the Utes to its fourth loss of the season.

The Utes are 18-4 overall this season and 7-4 in Pac-12 play.