Kuzma’s big second half leads Utah past Colorado, 86-81

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BOULDER, Colo. (ABC4 Sports) – Showing signs of collapsing for the second straight game, it was Kyle Kuzma to the rescue.

Kuzma scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half and Utah continued its dominance of Colorado with an 86-81 win on Thursday night, ending a 4-game road losing streak.

David Collette added 14 points for the Utes (18-10, 9-7 Pac-12), who won their seventh in a row over Colorado (16-13, 6-10) despite foul trouble. Collette and Lorenzo Bonam each had four fouls by midway through the second half and Kuzma played the last 18:27 with three fouls.

Derrick White had 31 points and four blocks for the Buffaloes.

The Utes led 71-61 with 4:34 left but had to hold on down the stretch. White scored seven points and three free throws by Dominique Collier got the Buffaloes within two.

Utah was coming off a devastating loss Sunday night at Oregon State in which they blew a 13-point second half lead.

But tonight, the Utes made far fewer mistakes, committing just 10 turnovers for the game.

After Tyler Rawson split two free throws Collier missed a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left that would have tied it.

The Utes used a 17-5 run to take a 12-point lead with 5:25 left in the first half. The Buffaloes trailed by eight at halftime but went on a 7-2 run at the start of the second half to get within 39-36.

Utah shot 55 percent from the field and made 78 percent of their free throws.

Utah played without starting guard Devon Daniels, who was suspended indefinitely by head coach Larry Krystkowiak for “conduct detrimental to the team.”

The Utes still have a chance to earn a first round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament, but they will have to beat California in their next game at the Huntsman Center on March 2nd.

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