Jordin Canada had 18 points and seven assists to lead No. 10 UCLA to a 67-56 victory over previously unbeaten Utah In the Pac-12 opener for both teams Friday night.
Monqiue Billings added 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Bruins (10-2), who have won 19 consecutive home games dating back to last season. Kennedy Burke also had 10 points.
Utah (11-1) won its first 11 games, but it had difficulty working its offense against a top-10 team. Forward Emily Potter had a game-high 20 points for the Utes, and Erika Bean and Tanaeya Boclair added 10 points each.
Utah started the season with an 11-game winning streak but hadn’t played a team close to UCLA’s caliber, and it showed. Its first loss can serve as a learning tool for defensive adjustments if the Utes want to finish in the top echelon of the Pac-12.
UCLA made a good impression in its quest to win the Pac-12 Championship by winning its initial conference game in convincing. Last year, the Bruins tied for third in the Pac-12, but this team is better, more experienced and is taking care of business at home.
Utah continues its Southern California conference roadtrip with a game at USC on Sunday. The Utes face a strong USC team which cruised to a win in its conference opener.
UCLA will look to improve its consecutive home game win streak Sunday against No. 20 Colorado. The Buffaloes lost to USC, 79-54, in the Pac-12 opener Friday.
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