Utah basketball: Utes can't kickstart offense vs. USC
Jordan Loveridge made just three of his 10 shot attempts on Saturday afternoon, as Utah suffered a 76-59 defeat to USC.
Jason Washburn's 6-of-13 effort produced 13 points. But his four rebounds represent a low for Pac-12 play.
Aaron Dotson didn't suit up, a knee injury forcing him to the bench and robbing the Utes of a potential scorer.
Utah's offense didn't play well at the Huntsman Center against a USC team that hadn't won a league road game in almost two years. But the Utes haven't been playing well offensively since defeating Boise State in early December.
Against the Trojans, Utah struggled to get into any kind of flow when it had possession. The lack of such created prolonged scoring droughts at the wrong times.
"We had an inability to complete shots at the basket tonight, open shots certainly," Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "But I give their defense a lot of credit. They are not a turnover-minded team, but at the point of attack it's hard to get shots off against them. They draw the line in the sand, and they make it really hard to score baskets."
The Utes went 4 of 15 from 3-point range. They went 13 of 21 from the free-throw line. They shot 34.5 percent from the field in the first half and 37.5 percent overall.
Normally a team like Utah can find some scoring in transition, but the Utes haven't run the fast break effectively this season. They scored just 10 points off the bench.
"Personally, I don't think I came out to play the way I have been," Washburn said. "My team needs me to do that, and I didn't do that tonight. That's the only thing I can speak on. My team plays hard, and my coach coaches even harder."