The Runnin’ Utes’ four-game win-streak was snapped, and their record fell to 11-9 as they struggled against the Oregon Ducks last night, and lost 72-78.
Utah led by as many by 14 points in the first half, up 30-16 late in the first half. However, that wouldn’t last long, as Oregon was able to go on a 22-4 run to take a 38-34 lead by halftime.
The Utes shot 12/23 overall from the field and 6/15 from behind the arc. Donnie Tillman and Parker Van Dyke provided a few threes of their own to get them going to begin with.
With about seven minutes to go in the first half, Oregon dominated and applied full-court pressure to force many turnovers from the Utes, and it just went downhill from there.
“The first twelve minutes of the game were awesome,” said head coach Larry Krystkowiak. “Our defense was fantastic to start the game, Oregon didn’t score, and they didn’t press either. Then, all of a sudden in the first-half, they scored 19 points off of turnovers, which sucked a lot of life out of the building. After that, consequently our defense became bad because you can’t defend turnovers and layups at the other end.”
In the beginning of the second half, the Utes would get back into the game, just down by one point. Oregon countered with a 13-3 run that would eventually push their lead back up to double-digits.
During the half, both Tillman and Van Dyke once again provided a few threes to keep the game somewhat interesting, but it wasn’t enough to stop Oregon’s full-court pressure and high-scoring offense.
Utah struggled immensely from the field and shot just 12/29 overall from the field and 5/16 from behind the arc. Many shots were forced, and the Utes committed 17 turnovers throughout the game which resulted in 29 Oregon points.
Coach Krystkowiak has been emphasizing poise-versus-pressure all week long and emphasized it once more during the press conference.
“Those are the two things that I underlined on the board, were poise-versus-pressure and rebound the basketball. I said if we can do those two things, I believe that we can win, and unfortunately it didn’t happen,” Krystkowiak said.
Riding high on a four-game win-streak to blowing a 14 point lead and trailing by double-digits for most of the game was brutal for the Utes, and as a result, many fans left the game early. Oregon basically outplayed Utah in every category except for rebounding. Even then, Utah out-rebounded Oregon by just three.
The Utes look forward to bouncing back when they’re set to take on the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. MT.