Another Oregon game, another loss for the Utes, as they fell to the Ducks by a score of 79-73. The Utes played arguably their best all around game of the season on Saturday, but turnovers doomed the Utes.
The Utes started out really fast, building a nice lead on the back of some really solid offensive play, after the Utes mixed up their starting line up a little bit adding Pelle Larsson to the starting five, who had 15 points on the night. Utah actually built a 10 point lead going into half, and was led by Timmy Allen’s 17 first half points. He’d finish with 23 on the game.
The second half started poorly, as the Utes turned the ball over on three straight possessions, and instead of building that lead more, they had it down to five within the opening moments of the second half. Oregon did ratchet up their pressure and defense, and as normal, the turnovers for the Utes started to mount, and Utah’s offense sputtered.
Utah actually shot almost 56% for the game, while the Ducks shot 45%, but the 18 turnovers to the Ducks 7 is where all the difference was made. Mikael Jantunen had 20 points, and had a great night, but the Utes didn’t get much out of Alfonso Plummer, who had less minutes off the bench tonight with just the four points, and while Rylan Jones’ eight assists were great, he needs to be more of a factor scoring the ball. He had just two points tonight.
Oregon led 59-58 coming out of the 7:52 media timeout, and they went on a 9-2 run to take a 67-61 lead. The Utes cut the lead down to 70-68 after a Riley Battin three with 1:40 remaining. But the Utes went 1-of-6 from the field and 0-for-4 from deep while Oregon knocked their free throws to put the game away.
The last time Utah had two players score 20-plus points in a game was against Colorado on March 7, 2020, when Both Gach had 28 and Alfonso Plummer had 21 points … Saturday was the first game in league play that Utah won the battle of the boards, edging Oregon 36-27 … the 18 turnovers is a season-high for the Utes and allowed Oregon to convert it into a 25-6 advantage in points off turnovers … the 55.8-percent shooting (29-of-52) from Utah was the first time it had shot 55-percent or better since shooting a .578 clip against BYU (Dec. 4, 2019) last season … the eight assists for Jones was a new season-high … Utah is now 6-10 all-time against AP No. 17-ranked teams.
The Utes remain at home and will have a short turnaround as the welcome in #RV/RV Colorado on Monday, Jan. 11, for a 4 p.m. (MT) tip-off on Pac-12 Networks. Todd Harris will once again have the call while Don MacLean serves as the analyst.