Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- For the first time this season Oregon's high-powered offense wasn't at its best yet the Ducks won again.
Bryce Taylor scored a season-high 20 points and No. 19 Oregon defeated Utah 75-64 Saturday at the annual Pape Jam at the Rose Garden.
Tajuan Porter had 16 points and Maarty Leunen and Joevan Catron both added 11 for the Ducks (7-1), who entered the game fourth in the nation averaging 91.3 points per game. This was the first time they failed to reach 80 points in a game.
"We really had to grind through the game today," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "It was a good win to get out of the way, even though we didn't play our best basketball."
The win was the 200th at Oregon for Kent, who is second on the school's all-time win list, 12 behind Howard Hobson, who coached the Ducks from 1936-47.
The Ducks shot 53.7 percent (29-for-54), the first time Utah has allowed an opponent to shoot better than 50 percent.
"This was a great team for us to play," Porter said. "Utah is a great team and they helped us prepare for the Pac-10 (season)."
Tyler Kepkay scored a career-high 23 points to lead Utah (5-3), which missed eight of its last 10 shots. Luke Nevill, Utah's 7-foot-1 center, played just seven minutes in the first half because of foul trouble. He had seven points in the second half but faced constant pressure from the Ducks.
"We wanted to front him and make them throw that lob pass, so we can get that steal," Oregon's Malik Hairston said. "We still need to be better defensively for 40 minutes."
Porter had a left-handed layup over Nevill to push Oregon's lead to 49-40 with 15:44 left. Nevill had a layup and Kepkay followed with a 3-pointer to cut the Utes' deficit to 49-45.
Nevill was then forced out of the game with a bloody nose, and Oregon promptly went on a 7-0 run.
"(Oregon) played as well together as any team we've played," Utah coach Jim Boylen said. "They have a veteran team, and they came out and made some plays."
After Utah again cut Oregon's lead to four, the Ducks built a 69-59 lead on three straight layups by Hairston, Taylor and Leunen.
Kepkay scored nine consecutive points to turn Utah's 18-13 deficit into a four-point lead with 7:28 left in the first half.
Carlon Brown's three-point play three minutes later kept the lead at four for Utah, but Oregon ended the half on a 13-4 run. Porter hit a pull-up jumper just before the halftime buzzer to give the Ducks a 38-33 lead.
"Porter hit some tough shots that at times were demoralizing," Boylen said.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-12-08-07 1941MST