SALT LAKE CITY — A double-digit first-half deficit was too much for the Utah Utes as they dropped the back end of a two-game road trip in a 80-62 loss to the No. 17 Oregon Ducks Sunday.
Utah (14-11, 5-8) entered the week looking for its first road win of conference play, but the young Utes team was outmatched as the team lost by double digits in back-to-back contests.
Oregon (20-6, 9-4) built up a 16-point first-half lead behind 10 made 3-pointers, five of which came from senior guard Payton Pritchard. Utah utilized a zone defense, but Oregon found open look after open look for the onslaught of 3-point looks.
The Ducks made only two more 3-pointers in the game, but the damage was already done as the Utes couldn’t overcome the early deficit and stingy Oregon defense to mount a comeback.
The Utes did make a slight run midway through the second half, cutting the lead to 8 points amid an Oregon scoring drought of nearly three minutes, but the Ducks eventually broke free with a quick 6-0 run as Utah committed multiple turnovers and wasted valuable possessions.
Oregon outscored Utah 36-32 in the second half to extend its lead and secure the rout.
Pritchard led the Ducks in scoring with 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-9 from deep. He was joined by Will Richardson, who had 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting, six rebounds and six assists. Shakur Juiston added 11 points, five rebounds and four assists in the win.
The Utes finished the night shooting 44% from the field, but multiple scoring droughts and 13 turnovers doomed Utah’s ability to fight off the Oregon hot hand and keep the game close.
Utah’s Branden Carlson, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, scored the first bucket of the game, but the team couldn’t hit another field goal until the 14 minute mark of the first half. Oregon, in the meantime, went on a quick 8-0 run to establish early dominance.
Freshman Rylan Jones led Utah in scoring with 18 points, including 4-of-8 from the 3-point line, and three rebounds. Timmy Allen added 10 points, six assists and three rebounds, but the sophomore forward struggled to have an impact around the rim as Oregon managed four blocks on the night and limited Allen’s ability to score.
Utah returns to action Thursday at home as UCLA comes to the Huntsman Center in a 8:30 p.m. tip off. The game will be broadcast on FS1 and on ESPN 700.