College basketball • Freshman Loveridge leads Utes with 24 points.
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Stephan Hicks and Landon Drew scored 19 points each and Cal State Northridge rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit to defeat the University of Utah on Friday night, 76-71.
Freshman Jordan Loveridge scored 24 points to lead Utah, which crumbled in the second half and dropped to 7-4 this season.
Loveridge scored 16 points in the first half, when Utah surged to a 48-27 lead.
Searching for their fourth win in five games, the Utes traded baskets with Northridge in the opening minutes before Aaron Dotson hit two free throws to snap a 7-7 tie.
Backup center Jason Washburn followed with eight points in a span of 2:07. He sparked an 11-2 run by the Utes, who built a 20-9 lead with 13:40 remaining.
Despite converting only one of its next nine possessions, Utah maintained a 23-16 advantage over the smaller Matadors.
The Utes were nursing a 31-22 lead when Loveridge took over.
Showing his versatility, he scored three times from close range, hit a 17-footer and buried a 3-point shot.
Loveridge scored 11 straight points for the Utes, who closed the half on a 25-11 run while building their 21-point cushion.
But the Matadors didn't go away.
Hicks' 3-pointer with 15:25 left in the game closed the gap to 54-38.
After Josh Greene converted a three-point play on Northridge's next possession, Utah's lead was down to 54-41.
Washburn temporarily stopped the Matadors' momentum with a three-point play, but Drew's dunk capped a 9-0 run that made it 57-50 with 10:30 remaining.
Again, Utah seemed back on track when Loveridge made two free throws.
Northridge, however, quickly followed with 12 straight points and took its first lead with 5:12 to play when Green nailed a long-distance 3-pointer.
The Matadors extended their lead to 63-59 and won the game by converting 11 of their final 14 possession into points.