LOS ANGELES (ABC4 Sports) – The Runnin’ Utes are coming home from their L.A. road trip having getting swept by UCLA and USC, and are now on a 3-game losing skid.

The Utes hit a cold stretch late in the game that lead to the Utes dropping a 71-56 decision to the Trojans inside the Galen Center.

After opening the game 0-for-3 from the field, the Utes caught fire and knocked down seven of its next eight shots to take a 19-13 lead over the Trojans on a 3-pointer from Rollie Worster. However, 3-point shooting kept USC within striking distance of the Utes, hitting 3-of-4 to by the time the 11:26 media break came around.

The Trojans however, caught fire themselves after Utah went up 19-13 and reeled off a 17-5 run to force a Utah timeout (4:03) down 30-24. As hot as the Utes (12-7, 5-3 Pac-12) got, they also went cold just as fast, hitting just 2-of-10 to trail 34-26 before back-to-back triples from Branden Carlson followed by a driving lay-up from Worster at the end of the first half brought Utah within 39-34 at the break.

A 7-0 start to the second frame by Utah forced a USC (13-5, 5-2 Pac-12) timeout before the Trojans retook the lead quickly after. USC went ahead by as much as 10 points on three separate occasions – the last coming out of the 5:52 timeout (64-54). Utah did its best to cut the lead to single digits, but time was not on its side as it fell 71-56 Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Carlson led the Utes in his return, scoring 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting – three of which came from beyond the arc – and was one rebound shy of a double-double. Worster chipped in with 12 points of his own on 4-of-7 shooting.

Utah was once again held under .400 from the field for the third-straight game (.340) … Utes allowed 13 offensive boards – which led to 19 points for the Trojans. Saturday’s loss makes it the fifth time Utah has been swept on the LA road swing since joining the league. Utah has now lost four-straight in the Galen Center.

The Runnin’ Utes return home to take on Washington State Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.