EUGENE, Ore. — Utah's first Pac-12 regular season began with a 40-point loss at Colorado. It ended on an even worse note — a record-setting 94-48 loss to Oregon Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena.
It was the most lopsided loss in team history, topping a 60-16 setback to Denver A.C., on Dec. 14, 1934.
"We lost at Colorado like that because we rolled over, laid down and never really gave a fight back," said Utah center Jason Washburn. "It's kind of the same way right here."
The Utes (6-24, 3-15), who will face Colorado in the Pac-12 Tournament on Wednesday, were outplayed from start-to-finish by the Ducks (22-8, 13-5).
"I think tonight had a lot to do with who we were playing," said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. "Sometimes you lose a game and all the focus is on us as to how bad it was. We had a really poor first half, but that's a great team."
Oregon led 52-14 at halftime after opening the game with a 34-2 run. Devoe Joseph and Carlos Emory paced the early outburst with 12 and 10 points, respectively. They teamed to make 9-of-9 shots from the field, including 4-for-4 accuracy from 3-point range.
Utah's only basket during the decisive stretch was made by Washburn with 17:52 to play in the half.
"We had two points forever," Krystkowiak said. "It's not very much fun to play the game that way. Just about every facet we ran into wasn't good."
The Oregon crowd mockingly cheered when Anthony Odunsi gave the Utes, who missed 12 of their first 13 shots, a second score more than 11 minutes later.
It ushered in a 6-0 run for Utah that reduced the deficit to 34-8. Oregon, however, responded to the slight momentum shift with another crushing blow — an 18-4 burst that included four consecutive 3-pointers.
Utah ended the long-range assault with a basket by Washburn just before the halftime buzzer. The junior had 10 of the Utes' points at the break and wound up finishing with a career-high 26.
It was the lone bright spot in an extremely gloomy game for Utah. After showing a little bit of fight early in the second half — going on an 11-4 run to cut the huge deficit to 56-25 — things turned ugly once again.
Oregon retaliated with an outburst that eventually gave the Ducks a pair of 48-point leads down the stretch.
"It's a great environment here. A lot of credit goes to what they're doing. I think they're playing as well as anybody in the league," Krystkowiak said. "Right now, we've got to kind of put the regular season behind us and go in and try to get a win in that tournament and see what happens."
It won't be easy, though. Utah was thoroughly dominated by Oregon. The Ducks shot 56.5 percent from the field and outrebounded the Utes 42-24. They tallied 22 assists, made 15 shots from 3-point range and forced 14 turnovers.
"It's tough to end it like this," said Utah guard Chris Hines, who finished with just five points.
Washburn noted that it was kind of "insult to injury" that the Utes just kind of rolled over after the Ducks got their big lead.
"The rim was big for them tonight," Washburn said. "The emotions were there for them. It was their Senior Night and their leaders do what leaders are meant to do."
Joseph had 21 points to lead Oregon. Emory added 19. Washburn, meanwhile, was the only Utah player to score more than five points. He downplayed the top-scoring game of his career because "I know I could have done more."
Utah's shortcomings were plentiful.
"First off, a lot of credit goes to (Oregon). They've got more seniors than anybody in the league," Krystkowiak said. "Those guys have been around a long time. It wasn't a good night to be playing them on Senior Night."
As for the Utes, Krystkowiak explained that the program's climb to respectability isn't going to come without a step back.
"I'm not ready to make grand statements that "Oh, all of a sudden we're not getting better anymore. We had a setback on the road, not many teams come in here and win," he said. "We got embarrassed. It's a little bit of an eye-opener for all of us, but nothing more magnitude-wise that is like a setback to our program. It's kind of more of what we've been experiencing all year."
At halftime, Krystkowiak discussed the lopsided loss in Boulder on Dec. 31 and how the team quit in the Pac-12 opener.
"I talked about that. You know we got embarrassed to open this thing up. (But) I think we've come a long way," Krystkowiak said. "Our guys responded a little bit in the second half, but we didn't make plays. You've got to make shots. We had a number of air balls. It looked like we where a little intimidated by the surroundings."
Although he thought things felt a little more palatable after halftime, the Utes lacked a lot of answers.
"It's not fun to be a part of any kind of history," Krystkowiak said. "But it kind of is what it is."
And that, bottom line, just wasn't very good.
"As low of a point as it is for our program and what we've gone through, I also still look at some of the future things," Krystkowiak said with an optimistic tone. "Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom and this season was certainly kind of that point. But we're getting ready to move on up."
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