Runnin’ Utes Return to SLC to Host Oregon Ducks

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Runnin’ Utes Return to SLC to Host Oregon Ducks

Washington State senior guard Viont'e Daniels (24) guards University of Utah freshman forward Timmy Allen (20) during an NCAA Basketball game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Washington State senior guard Viont'e Daniels (24) guards University of Utah freshman forward Timmy Allen (20) during an NCAA Basketball game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Washington State senior guard Viont'e Daniels (24) guards University of Utah freshman forward Timmy Allen (20) during an NCAA Basketball game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Washington State senior guard Viont'e Daniels (24) guards University of Utah freshman forward Timmy Allen (20) during an NCAA Basketball game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Tony Kar

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After going 2-0 in their Bay Area Road Trip which featured wins over Cal and Stanford, the 11-8 Runnin’ Utes return home to Salt Lake City to take on the 12-8 Oregon Ducks.

With two convincing wins on the road, the Runnin’ Utes have extended their win streak to four games. With their most recent win against Cal, the Utes were able to dominate offensively as veteran Sedrick Barefield was able to lead the way.

Barefield chipped in 21 points, while freshmen Timmy Allen and Both Gach contributed in big ways as well. Allen had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Gach provided 18 points.

With the veterans leading the way, it’s easy to tell what effect they’re having on the inexperienced players. Freshmen like Allen and Gach have performed very well lately, which is a great sign for the Runnin’ Utes overall as they move forward.

The Oregon Ducks, however, might put a stop to the Ute’s winning streak — they have been performing well this season. The Ducks have gone 3-3 in their past six games, but have managed to compete with every team they’ve played with this season. That includes No. 13 Houston as Oregon fell to them by just four points.

Oregon freshman Louis King is definitely someone that should not be overlooked. King has had double-digit scoring games in seven straight games. King is averaging 12.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and has been on a recent hot streak, and if the Utes don’t contain him early, he could become a problem throughout the entire game.

Oregon senior Paul White has stepped up recently in absence of superstar center Bol Bol and has provided some big plays. White has scored in double-digits in the last nine of 11 games while shooting efficiently from the field. White averages just about 10.9 points per game on 46 percent shooting overall from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc.

There is no doubt that Oregon’s roster is banged up, but this is a roster that should not be overlooked in any way as they have good enough players to compete with any team this season. The Runnin’ Utes should take full advantage of that and nothing is stopping their high-scoring offense as of right now. They’re clicking on all cylinders and it’ll be interesting to see how these teams will approach this upcoming conference match-up.

The Utes will be back in action in the Huntsman Center Thursday, Jan. 31, as the Utes and Ducks are set to tip off at 7 p.m. MT.

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@TheChrony