Utah puts historic beat-down on UCLA

Five Utah scorers reached double figures and the Utes leveraged a dominant second half to send UCLA to its worst loss in 27 years, a 90-44 rout on Thursday in Salt Lake City.

Utah (12-4, 3-2 Pac-12 Conference) broke open what was a six-point game less than two minutes into the second half with a 15-0 run lasting a little more than four minutes, immediately followed by an 18-3 run.

The Utes pushed the lead to as many as 50 points, outscoring the Bruins 54-14 through the first 16:57 of the second half.

UCLA (6-10, 1-4) avoided its most lopsided loss in program history, which came in a 48-point blowout against Stanford on Jan. 9, 1997. The 46-point margin surpassed the Bruins’ worst previous defeat vs. Utah, a 32-point loss in 2015.

Cole Bajema and Keba Keita led Utah with 14 points each. Keita paced a Utes bench that combined for 40 points, including 11 from Deivon Smith.

Smith shot 3-for-4 from 3-point range, Gabe Madsen (11 points) went 3-for-8 from beyond the arc and Bajema was 4-for-7 from outside as Utah went 13-of-32 (40.6 percent) on 3-point attempts as a team.

The Utes went 33-for-66 from the floor overall to UCLA’s 17-for-54 (31.5 percent), and the Utes dominated on the glass with a 50-28 rebounding edge. Utah’s Branden Carlson grabbed 14 rebounds to go with 12 points.

No UCLA scorer reached double figures. Dylan Andrews led the Bruins with nine points, while Sebastian Mack and former Ute Lazar Stefanovic each scored eight points. Mack pulled down a team-high five rebounds, but he shot 2 of 13 from the floor. Stefanovic was 3 of 10, and Andrews went 4 of 10.

The loss was UCLA’s fourth straight. In each of the four defeats, the Bruins failed to score 60 points. Thursday’s 44 points marked a season low, while the 90 points UCLA allowed surpassed the Bruins’ previous high yield of 76.

Utah’s defense yielded its second-lowest point total of the season, trailing only an 85-43 win over Bellarmine last month.