Trojans’ home win streak snapped by Utah

first_img“We feel like we’re right there.” McLaughlin said. “We have a few things to get better at, but we feel like we’re right there.” The Trojans are back in action this Thursday at 8 PM against the Stanford Cardinal. The game will be aired on the Pac-12 networks. “The teams were playing right now are very physical.” Enfield said. “Darian is our best rebounder per minute, so we definitely miss him. However, our players need to pick up the slack until Darian can get back.” Utah forward Jakob Poeltl scored 29 points with 13 rebounds and four assists and guard Brandon Taylor chipped in 8 points and 10 assists as the Utes defeated the USC Trojans 80-69 on Sunday. The loss was the Trojans’ first home defeat of the season.“I’m proud of our team’s effort, winning 15 straight games at home.” head coach Andy Enfield said. “Unfortunately tonight we got outplayed and lost to a good basketball team.”Guard Jordan McLaughlin led the Trojans (19-8, 8-6) with 20 points, three assists and three rebounds as the Trojans lost at the Galen Center for the first time in almost a year. Fellow backcourt mate Julian Jacobs finished with 17 points, three rebounds and two assists.The Utes (21-7, 10-5) outrebounded the Men of Troy 30-24 and outscored them 38-28 in the paint. The Trojans shot 58 percent from 3-point range, but attempted just 17 shots. The Utes finished shooting 53 percent from the field and had 13 second-chance points. The Utes also attempted nine more free throws than the Trojans.Both teams came out running in the first half. The Utes immediately took advantage of their size down low with Poeltl. The second year big man from Austria scored nine of the Utes first 14 points and finished the half with a near double-double.The backcourt duo of McLaughlin and Jacobs scored the first 13 points for the Trojans. The Trojans were able to stay relatively close throughout the first half, but once Poeltl returned the Utes closed on a run to push their lead to double digits.Guard Katin Reinhardt hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer to cut the Utes lead to 10 at the half. The Trojans had 10 first half turnovers that turned into 15 points for the Utes. McLaughlin, Jacobs and forward Bennie Boatwright combined for 25 of the Trojans 30 first half points.It looked like things were going to get away from the Trojans as the Utes opened the second half by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers, extending their lead to 16 points.Jacobs had other plans. The third-year guard scored nine points in a flurry that helped ignite a 14-3 run by the Men of Troy. The Trojans got as close as 5 points, before the Utes woke up.Poeltl scored eight of Utah’s next 12 points as the Utes pushed their lead back to double-digits. The Trojans had a late rally that cut the lead back to 10, but they would get no closer. “He’s a pro if I’ve ever seen one. He absolutely dominated us.” Jacobs said. “We did not have an answer for him. Defensively, I think he ended with four steals. Offensively he had his way with us. It was the Jakob Poeltl show, and we did not have any answers.”center_img The trio of McLaughlin, Jacobs, and Boatwright scored 54 of the Trojans 69 points. The rest of the Trojans went 6-20 from the field for 15 points.With the loss, the Trojans now sit two game behind league leaders Arizona and Oregon. The Trojans have a big trip coming up against Stanford and Cal. The Golden Bears are one game ahead of the Trojans in the standings. Forward Darian Clark missed his fourth consecutive game with a shoulder injury. As one of USC’s toughest defenders and rebounders, he was sorely missed as the Trojans struggled against the size of Poeltl. The Men of Troy made a spirited comeback but the size of Poeltl ended up being too much the Trojans to handle. Poeltl killed the Trojans inside but also opened up wide open shots for his teammates as USC was forced to double down on various occasions. All eight of the Utes players scored at least four points.last_img

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