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No. 7 UCLA vs. Utah Despite Winning Streak

No. 7 UCLA hasn’t lost in over seven weeks, but that doesn’t mean coach Mick Cronin is happy.

Cronin calls for an improved effort when the Bruins take on Utah in the Pac-12 game Thursday night in Los Angeles.

UCLA (14-2, 5-0 Pac-12) extended their winning streak to 11 with a 60-58 home win over Southern California last Thursday, but it was a satisfying performance from a coaching standpoint. There was not.

The Bruins were shooting just 22.7% of field goals (5 of 22 games) and had an 18-point lead at halftime. The Trojans moved forward with 36 seconds left before Jalen Clarke saved the day with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 14.8 seconds left to give UCLA the win.

The Bruins finished 34.5% off the field. After a strong first half, Cronin saw his offensive power dwindle under USC’s relentless pressure defense.

“Yeah, 100 percent. Blocking free throws and short-arm layups,” Cronin said. “You start thinking, ‘The explosion has started. I’m going to get mine’. …we started messing around and got exactly what we deserved. That’s what happens in sports.” am.”

Clark led the team with 15 points, but only scored 5 of 16. A much-improved shooter this season, he was 9-of-37 (24.3%) when he stumbled on shooting in three games.

Clarke had two chances to win. He missed his first three-point attempt before David Singleton collected the rebound and fed it to Clarke at the top of the key. His second attempt of him from about the same spot slipped through the net.

“I got the first shot and it was a little off,” Clark said. “I don’t usually miss two times in a row. So when I see David have it, I know it’s happening in my head before I catch it.” I know, we got the win here, but it wasn’t a performance to be proud of.”

Clarke is averaging 14.2 points per game, second for the Bruins behind Jaime Jaquez Jr. (16.9).

UCLA is looking to beat Utah for the sixth time in a row.

The Utes (12-5, 5-1) are recovering from a 70-60 home loss to Oregon on Saturday.

Utah’s 5-0 start in Pac-12 play was the best since joining the conference in the 2011-12 season.

Uté shot only 35.7% of field goals and shot 3-of-21 (14.3%) from 3-point range against the Ducks. The 10-point gap equals Utah’s biggest gap of the season, in a 65-55 loss to Sam Houston on November 17.

Utah coach Craig Smith wasn’t thrilled after the loss as he set the tone for a subpar effort with Utah trailing 27-13 after 15 minutes.

“I think we weren’t very good,” Smith said. “Part of it was Oregon and part of it was certainly self-harm. I thought we seemed to be catching up. We didn’t get off to a great start.”

Marco Anthony has 15 points and 10 rebounds for Ute. The double-double was his second in a row and his seventh of his career.

Branden Carlson leads Utah with 38 blocks, averaging 15.7 points and 7.4 rebounds.

–Field level media No. 7 UCLA vs. Utah Despite Winning Streak

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