No. 7 Oregon throttles Utah

By The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 17, 2017 at 6:47 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With five players averaging in double digits, Oregon is a tough team to scout.

On Thursday, it was junior forward Dillon Brooks leading the way with 20 points as the seventh-ranked Ducks defeated Utah 79-61 on Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena.

Junior forward Jordan Bell added 17 points and sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey scored 16 points as the Ducks (23-4, 12-2 Pac-12) stayed in second place in the conference. Oregon shot 53.4 percent from the field.

"I think it is difficult for teams to play us because they don't know who to guard," Ducks freshman guard Payton Pritchard said. "We have got Dillon and Tyler and Jordan and Chris (Boucher). They don't know who we will go to on offense each game, so they can't game-plan against one player. That makes it easier."

Oregon's defense also caused problems for the Utes, who shot 38.2 percent from the field. That number would have been even lower if not for 19 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.

"I thought our defensive activity was pretty good for the most part," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "We did hold them to 38 percent. All in all, it was a good win, but we have a quick turnaround on Saturday against Colorado, so we have to put this one behind us quick."

Pritchard added nine points, seven assists and six rebounds for Oregon. Bell had five blocked shots and Boucher added three as Oregon finished with 10 blocks.

After losing two of its first four games, Oregon has lost two of its past 23.

"Every month we have gotten better," Bell said. "We are totally different than early in the year. I think we are making steps with our consistency."

Freshman center Jayce Johnson scored 14 points and junior forward David Collette added 12 points to lead the Utes (17-9, 8-6).

Utah played without 6-foot-9 Kyle Kuzma, who leads the team with averages of 15.7 points and 10.2 rebounds. He sprained an ankle on Wednesday.

"There always seems to be a weak link at some point," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "I'm still aspiring to get things going a little bit. I don't want to let this game break us down and demoralize us because we have a lot of respect for that team. We just need to keep battling. Hopefully we start to click a little bit more offensively, though."

Oregon led by 16 at halftime but stretched it to 54-32 when Pritchard and Bell had back-to-back dunks early in the second half and Brooks followed with a basket. Brooks pushed the lead to 74-49 when he had a dunk and a 3-pointer.

Oregon opened the game with a 3-pointer by Dorsey before Bell scored to make it 5-0. Collette scored and forward Tyler Rawson made it 5-4 before Pritchard scored for Oregon and Bell dunked.

After Collette scored again, Brooks drove for a basket and Dorsey added a jumper to put the Ducks up 13-6. Johnson scored for Utah before Dorsey hit a 3-pointer and another jumper to push Oregon ahead 18-8.

Guard JoJo Zamora followed with a basket for the Utes, but Pritchard hit a 3-pointer for Oregon. After Collette scored inside, Boucher got a dunk and a 3-pointer before Bell scored and Brooks hit a jumper to put the Ducks ahead 30-12.

Utah scored four in a row, but Brooks answered with a bucket and Bell converted a three-point play before Boucher scored to push the lead to 37-16. Johnson scored on three straight possessions and guard Devon Daniels scored to get the Utes within 39-23 before Brooks followed with a basket for the Ducks.

Guard Gabe Bealer dunked to get Utah within 41-25 at the half.

NOTES:

-- Oregon extended the nation's longest active home winning streak to 41 games in a row.

-- The Ducks are 18-0 during the regular season after Valentine's Day during the past three seasons.

-- At 12-2, the Ducks are off to their best start in conference play since 1939, when they went 14-2 in the Pacific Coast Conference before winning the national championship.

-- Utah F David Collette has scored in double figures in all 16 games he has played this season.

-- Oregon has won nine consecutive meetings with Utah.

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