SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Runnin’ Utes fell into too big of a hole in the first half, and could not climb out against Stanford.

Spencer Jones scored 22 points, shooting 8 for 12 from the field, while Michael Jones scored 15 as Stanford beat Utah 78-72 on Thursday night for its fifth straight victory.

Michael O’Connell and Brandon Angel both scored 11 for Stanford. O’Connell added seven rebounds.

Lazar Stefanovic scored a career-high 26 points for Utah, Branden Carlson scored 17 on 6-of-9 shooting and Rollie Worster scored 10 points and distributed 10 assists.

The Utes were without leading three-point shooter Gabe Madsen, who will miss the next four to six weeks with a lower leg injury.

Stefanovic stepped up in his absence, making six three-pointers and 10-of-22 shots overall. Utah cut a 17-point deficit down to three in the second half, but could never take the lead as the Cardinal never trailed.

Stanford (10-12, 4-7) has won four straight in the Pac-12, while also beating Chicago State in the middle of its current run. The win streak is on the immediate heels of a five-game losing streak.

Marco Anthony’s layup with 6:39 remaining before halftime tied it for Utah (15-9, 8-5) at 24-all. But Stanford seized control and proceeded to outscore Utah 22-7 to close the half and led 46-31 at intermission.

The Utes got back in it using the first 10 minutes of the second half and reduced their deficit to 57-54 on Stefanovic’s 3 with 11:55 left but never got closer.

Stefanovic also had six rebounds, a career-high tying five assists and a new career-high in steals with four.

Utah next hosts Cal on Sunday.