Trying to pull off a third consecutive upset in the Pac-12 tournament, the Utes were instead foiled by an Oregon team seeking revenge after losing to Utah less than a week ago. Utah fell 64-45.
The Ducks came out with an aggressive pressure defense, forcing Utah into a rash of turnovers and an early deficit that never dipped below eight points in the second half. When the Utes did get a shot off, it was almost always from outside the key, resulting in just a 15-51 (29.4 percent) effort from the field.
The Utes beat the Ducks in their previous meeting less than a week ago, when Jason Washburn amassed 20 points and 13 rebounds as Utah shot over 56 percent from the field. Oregon's E.J. Singler led the Ducks in that game with 21 points.
Washburn finished with 12 points, but needed 13 shots to get there. Meanwhile the Ducks held Jarred DuBois scoreless on 0-for-8 shooting, a stifling effect on the player that surpassed the 20-point mark in the previous two tournament games. Freshman forward Jordan Loveridge also struggled, making just one of his 10 attempts from the field.
Brandon Taylor was the lone bright spot for the Utes on offense, accounting for over half of their points on 3-for-4 shooting in the first half. Taylor finished with a team-high 13 points.
In contrast, the Ducks saw four players reach double figure scoring, hardly a surprise on a team that boasted six players averaging between nine and 12 points per game. Singler did a little bit of everything, scoring 14 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The loss ended an unlikely Pac-12 tournament run by the Utes, a 10th-seeded team that knocked off seventh-seeded USC and second-seeded California on back-to-back nights.23 comments on this story
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Matt Petersen is the Sports Web Editor for DeseretNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheMattPetersen.