Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — Within six minutes of the halftime break, all the momentum of a 6-point halftime lead was gone for the Runnin' Utes.
Jacob Young and Will Richardson helped host Oregon blow it away with speed.
Richardson scored 23 of his 26 points — including four of his five 3-pointers — to go along with five rebounds and three assists in the second half, and the Ducks used a 50-31 blitz through the second half to blow past Utah 79-66 Saturday night at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon.
Young scored 13 of his 22 points in the second half to go along with four assists for the Ducks in handing the Runnin' Utes their first consecutive losses since Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 against BYU and USC. De'Vion Harmon supplied 11 points and five rebounds for Oregon (8-6, 1-2 Pac-12) in their first conference win of the season.
"We all started on defense and turned it into offense," said Young, whose team scored 15 points off 15 turnovers. "We used the energy on defense and turned it into offense. I feel like that's what helped us get the lead."
Branden Carlson led Utah with 15 points and six rebounds, Marco Anthony added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Lazar Stefanovic added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Utes.
Utah (8-6, 1-3 Pac-12) lost its eighth straight to Oregon, which improved to 20-2 against Utah under coach Dana Altman with their third win in the last four games — with just a 78-70 loss to No. 1 Baylor in that span.
"It was definitely a tale of two halves," Utah coach Craig Smith said. "I thought we played with a great competitive spirit tonight. You've got to give Oregon a lot of credit — they responded in a great way. They hit some really incredible shots in that second half.
"We had our chances, but it just wasn't good enough. When you go on the road, you have to overcome a lot of things — the crowd and outside influences and that kind of stuff. I liked our effort and how we competed; it just wasn't good enough at the end of the day."
Oregon opened the second half shooting 64% from the field, taking a 61-55 advantage on Richardson's 3-pointer with 7:31 remaining. Moments later, Utah's David Jenkins Jr. fouled out after being held scoreless, shooting only one shot attempt with one rebound after scoring a team-best 22 in Thursday's loss to Oregon State.
The Utes held Oregon to just 1-of-10 shooting with three turnovers en route to a 12-6 lead midway through the second half. But the Ducks responded with a 12-0 run in just three minutes, capped by Guerrier's 3-pointer that put the hosts up 20-14 with 8:41 left in the half.
The runs continued early as Oregon shot 44% from the field in the first half. But Utah limited the Ducks to one field goal in the final 2:12 to take a 35-29 edge on Carlson's buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the break.
Carlson had 9 points and three rebounds at the half, pacing a Utah offense that scored 8 points off six turnovers and outrebounded the Ducks 22-14 in the first half.
"We were feeling good at halftime," Carlson said. "But in the second, we just didn't come out ready to go; they came on a 13-0 run or so, and we just didn't get enough stops right there.
"Once that happened, it just got out of hand. … We always play good in the first half, but in the second half is where things get away from us."
Both Gach stretched the lead to 9 from the corner with just under two minutes into the second half, but Young sniped his second 3-pointer of the game to cap a 14-2 run to help Oregon retake the lead 45-42 by the first media timeout.
Young, who averaged just 9.2 points per game prior to Saturday, converted an and-one bucket to go up 12:42 left for an Oregon transition game that totaled 22 fast-break points to just 6 for the Utes.
Utah returns to Salt Lake City to face Washington Thursday at 7:30 p.m. MST, followed by a Saturday matinee contest against Washington State. Both games will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.