EUGENE, Ore. — Unlike last season’s visit to Matthew Knight Arena, it didn’t take nearly 13½ minutes for Utah to make its second basket. The Utes got it done relatively quickly in Saturday’s 73-64 loss to Oregon.
Less than a minute after hitting a 3-pointer, freshman Jordan Loveridge connected on a jumper to give Utah a 5-3 lead with 17:44 remaining in the first half.
When the teams played here last March, the Utes missed 12 of their first 13 shots while falling into a 34-2 hole. Oregon went on to prevail 94-48 — handing Utah its most lopsided loss in program history, surpassing a 60-16 setback to Denver A.C. in 1934.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak noted that the team talked about trying to win four-minute segments.
It worked. The Utes wound up winning 3 of 5 over the opening 20 minutes.
Krystkowiak added that he was real pleased with Loveridge’s sense of urgency.
“He was a key for us, particularly in the first half,” Krystkowiak said.
After coming off the bench at Oregon State, Loveridge returned to the starting lineup in place of Renan Lenz. The switch gave Utah its 10th different starting lineup this season. Saturday’s starters included Jarred DuBois, Brandon Taylor, Cedric Martin, Jason Washburn and Loveridge.
“We need Jordan to bring his energy and focus,” Krystkowiak said. “I saw it today in our team meeting. I saw him with our scouting report and he was circling things. He’s dialed in.”
Loveridge finished with 14 points, all in the first half.
QUITE A COURT: The basketball floor at Matthew Knight Arena is one of a kind. Designed by Nike vice president Tinker Hatfield, the playing surface includes artwork of a forest of fir trees around the entire court. The design pays homage to Oregon’s 1939 national championship team that was known as “The Tall Firs.” It also includes the inscription: “Deep in the woods.”
SEYMOUR SUSPENDED: Freshman guard Justin Seymour was suspended by Krystkowiak and did not dress for the game.
“Justin made a mistake last night. It was a violation of some teams rules that we have,” Krystkowiak said. “I met with him this morning at shootaround and asked him what he thought we should do and he thought we should suspend him a game and maybe have him do some conditioning. So that’s what we did.”
Krystkowiak added that it was nothing malicious, just a simple mistake that isn’t going to be tolerated. He anticipates having Seymour back in the mix when practice resumes Monday.
Seymour has appeared in 20 games this season, averaging 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds.
EXTRA STUFF: The attendance was 9,041. ... Oregon starting point guard Johnathan Loyd is the younger brother of former BYU guard Michael Loyd (2007-10). He finished with seven points and three assists. ... The Ducks honored their Fiesta Bowl champion football team at halftime.