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Los Angeles • The significance of a largely meaningless game between two of the Pac-12's worst teams wasn't lost on Utah guard Chris Hines.
"Something has to give," the junior said. "They're going to win their first game or we're going to win our first road game. It will be a good night for somebody."
When Utah plays USC on Saturday at the Galen Center, either the Utes (5-15, 2-6) will break their string of road losses that spans 11 months or USC (5-16, 0-8), which has had nearly as many problems as Utah, will find a way to get a conference victory.
For the Utes, a victory, even against a team as bad as USC, would provide a lift after losing by 26 at UCLA on Thursday.
Coach Larry Krystkowiak said the Utes had a "spirited" afternoon practice Friday on campus at USC, and the focus was again on a chain of selfish offensive plays against the Bruins. UCLA was too big for the Utes; four 6-foot-10 players wreaked havoc on the Utes' front line of center Jason Washburn and a supporting cast of small forwards playing out of position to lend aid.
USC, however, is not all that different from Utah, particularly after it lost starting center Dewayne Dedmon with a torn MCL in Thursday's loss to Colorado.
"I think there's some similarities," Krystkowiak said. "We both had injuries to guys, people have left. So, survival at this point. We're a couple of teams that need to compete, desperate to try to get a win."
It will be a good night for somebody. But for the other team, the game will provide just more of the same.
Utah at USC
P At Galen Center (Los Angeles)
Tipoff • Saturday, 8 p.m.
Radio • 700 AM
Records • Utah 5-15 (2-6), USC 5-16 (0-8)
Series record • USC 15-14
Last meeting • USC 65-60 (Dec. 2, 2000)
About the Utes • Utah starters combined for just 28 points in the 76-49 loss at UCLA on Thursday. … Jason Washburn leads the Utes with 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. ... Starting guard Cedric Martin was held scoreless for the first time in 12 games. He scored 17 points on Saturday in Utah's win over Arizona State.
About the Trojans • USC has lost its eight Pac-12 games by an average of 12.1 points. … Center Dewayne Dedmon will miss the rest of the season after tearing his MCL against Colorado on Thursday. The 7-footer averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Trojans. … Guard Maurice Jones leads USC with 14.5 points per game.