Jordan Loveridge scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds but Utah, which led by 19 points with under 16 minutes left in the game, saw its five-game home winning streak snapped.
In addition to Loveridge's big night, Jarred DuBois scored 17 points and matched his career-high with seven assists. The senior also grabbed five rebounds, one shy of his personal best. Jason Washburn finished in double figures for the fourth time in five games with 13 points and season-high eight rebounds off the bench.
Utah jumped on the Matadors from the jump with a 13-2 run, six from Washburn, to go ahead 20-9 with 13:43 to play. Leading 30-22, the Utes used an 8-0 run, five from Loveridge, to force another timeout by the visitors.
Loveridge was outstanding in the first half, finishing with 16 points and five rebounds. DuBois was also in double figures with 10 points and five assists. Aaron Dotson added all eight of his points, a new career-high for the junior.
Utah shot 60 percent in the first half, 6-of-11 from three-point range, while the Matadors shot 39 percent. By out-rebounding Cal State Northridge 21-9, the Runnin' Utes were able to out-score their opponents 22-8 in the paint.
Leading 56-41, Utah went into a tailspin while Cal State Northridge went on a 22-3 run to take a 63-59 lead with 4:29 to play. Utah went 9:11 without a field goal until Loveridge broke the drought with a three-ball that tied his career-high.
After a Matador bucket, Loveridge made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to two, 65-63, with 3:22 showing. Cal State Northridge scored field goals on three-straight possessions, culminating in Landon Drew's three-point play that put it up six with 55 second to play.
Glen Dean drilled a three to cut the gap back to one possession and after two free throws from the visitor, DuBois earned a layup to make the score 74-71 with 30 ticks left. Trevone Williams missed the front end of a one-and-one and Utah called timeout with 11 seconds showing, down three.
Despite having a shot to tie the game, the ball was jarred loose and in the scramble, Utah was adjudged to have called a timeout which it did not have. Cal State Northridge hit the ensuing technical free throws to make the final margin, 76-71.
Drew scored 14 of his career-high 19 points in the second half for the Matadors. Stephan Hicks scored 11 of his 19 points and grabbed six rebounds as well over the final 20 minutes and Josh Greene scored all 13 of his points in the second stanza.
Cal State Northridge shot 66 percent in the second half while Utah connected on only 22 percent (6-of-27). The Matadors also held large edges in points off turnovers (19-4) and bench points (28-15).
The Utes are off for a week before closing 2012 with a home contest against the College of Idaho on Jan. 28. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.