Runnin’ Utes suffer first home loss as Ducks fly by U

Photo courtesy Utah Athletics

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Dillon Brooks had 23 points and eight rebounds while Casey Benson scored a career-high 15 points to power the Oregon Ducks past Utah 77-59 on Thursday night.

The Ducks(14-3, 3-1 Pac 12) never trailed in notching their third straight conference win after dropping their league opener to Oregon State.

basketball-ballrunningutes2Brandon Taylor led Utah (12-5, 1-3) with 12 points as the Ducks neutralized the Utes’ interior offense. Sophomore center Jakob Poeltl made just one field goal and had seven points in Utah’s first home loss of the season.

The Ducks shot 55 percent for the game while the Utes connected on just 34 percent of their shots, though many came from close range.

“You’ve got to give Oregon a lot of credit,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “They were focused, dialed in and had a lot of energy from the first possession of the game. I thought we had a pretty good plan, but they were flying around and started the game off with a blocked shot. They are well coached and they wanted it more than we did.”

The Utes made their first four shots of the second half to trim the Ducks lead to six points. Jordan Loveridge’s 3-pointer made it 50-44 with 17:20 left in the game.

Photo courtesy Utah Athletics
Photo courtesy Utah Athletics

From there, the Ducks held Utah scoreless for almost eight minutes. The Utes missed 13 straight field goals, as Oregon extended its lead into double digits and never led by less than 12 the rest of the way.

Oregon’s athletic defenders and quick pace rattled the Utes early. The Ducks led by as many as 15 points and held the Utes to 34 percent shooting in the first half. Oregon led 46-34 at the break.

“(A quick start is) always important on the road,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “They’ve got a great crowd here and the crowd really energizes them. That’s the formula for any road trip, you hate to get down early and we have not done a good job with that this year.We’ve been down in all of our road games and haven’t been prepared to play. But as I said, the guys got themselves ready and the leaders stepped up and got them focused.”

TIP-INS

Oregon: The Ducks have won five straight games against the Utes, including a 67-64 victory in last year’s Pac-12 Tournament. . Oregon is 12-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points. . Chris Boucher, who ranked third nationally in blocked shots, swatted six Ute attempts.

Utah: The Utes have now scored fewer than 60 points in three straight games. . Utah had more offensive rebounds (17) than defensive boards, mainly due to missing so many shots around the basket. . The Utes, who usually hold a big advantage in the lane, were outscored 36-18 in the paint.

UP NEXT

Oregon plays at Colorado on Sunday.

Utah hosts Oregon State on Sunday.

Stats: oreuta11416

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