Cal follows big win with loss to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Jakob Poeltl had 21 points and nine rebounds to power Utah past California 73-64 on Wednesday night.

Brandon Taylor and Kyle Kuzma added 15 points apiece for the Utes (16-5, 5-3 Pac-12), who have won four straight games.

Jaylen Brown matched his career-high with 27 points and Ivan Rabb had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Bears (14-7, 4-4), who again struggled on the road — falling to 1-5 away from home.

Poeltl was a focus of the Cal defense but he still went 7 for 10 from the field.

Down five in the second half, the Utes went on a 23-4 run to take control. During the surge, Taylor made back-to-back 3-pointers, Poeltl had a dunk and then a 3-point play, and Kuzma completed the spurt with six consecutive points. Utah led 58-44 with 10:24 to play.

But the Bears kept battling behind Brown’s aggressive drives to the hoop. The freshman’s spinning forays into the lane helped the Bears close within four on a 3-point play with 7:03 remaining but Utah dominated the rest of the way.

Utah led by as many as 13 in the first half but the Bears closed the half on a hot streak. The Bears hit their last three 3-point attempts and Brown made two free throws to cut it to 35-34 at the intermission.

Brown scored four of Cal’s six straight points to start the second half, which capped an 11-0 run spanning both halves, to go up 40-35. Cal didn’t stay on top long as Utah responded its game-clinching run.

On Jan. 4, California turned a close game with the Utes into a 71-58 win with some timely shooting and suffocating defense down the stretch. Since then, Utah has won five of six games.

TIP-INS

Leading scorer Tyrone Wallace has been listed as out for another 3-5 weeks with a broken right hand. The Bears have allowed opponents to shoot just 38.4 percent from the floor this season but Utah made 48 percent. … Cal corralled 12 offensive rebounds but still lost the battle of the boards, 38-36.

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