Thursday night at Oregon went about as I expected for the Utes, as they fell to the Ducks 79-61. It was going to be an uphill battle for the Utes anyway, but the fact that they were without Kyle Kuzma, who twisted his ankle in practice, pretty much cemented Utah's fate. Jayce Johnson did play well in Kuzma's absence, with 14 points and 12 rebounds, but it's hard to replace Kuz's athleticism on both sides of the floor. Collette played ok with 12 points, but Oregon's length really bothered him, as it did the whole team, which was evident with the Ducks 10 blocks. The good news was Utah only had 10 turnovers, so there's a bright spot for you.
Utah only shot 38% on the game, and just 3 of 19 from three. Oregon just hounded the Utes all game long.
The game really was over in the first half, when Oregon built their lead up to 16 points. Utah just didn't have the fire power to battle back, especially on the road. It didn't help when Utah let Oregon shoot 53% from the floor, and had a hard time keeping Oregon out of the paint, and out of transition.
Utah did play better in the second half, but being down a man was just too much, especially after the Ducks run in the first half. Utah's guard line couldn't get going, with no guard scoring more than seven points. Of course, Oregon's big pretty much shut down the paint, which didn't allow for much penetration.
Oh well, onto the next for the Utes, as they head to Corvallis to take on the Beavers. Hopefully Kuzma is back, and Utah can begin to build some momentum to finish the regular season