Utah Basketball Falls Short To Oregon Ducks Despite Second Half Rally

Feb 5, 2022, 8:53 PM
Rollie Worster - Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks...
Utah Utes guard Rollie Worster (25) goes to the hoop ahead of Oregon Ducks center Franck Kepnang (22) during the game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Despite a late second half rally, the University of Utah basketball team fell short to the Oregon Ducks 80-77 on Saturday night at home.

Gabe Madsen led Utah basketball with 19 points in their loss to Oregon at the Huntsman Center. Marco Anthony recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Rollie Worster chipped in 13 points, six rebounds and six assists. Branden Carlson added 11 points and six boards.

Will Richardson led Oregon with 25 points in the win.

Utah Basketball Starts Strong, Oregon Takes Over In First Half

Right out of the gates, Gabe Madsen knocked down three triples, with Oregon only responding with one from beyond the arc.

The Utes cooled off once Oregon implemented their full-court press, which would take a lot out of Utah’s offense as they took more time getting up the court and into their set. At the midway point of the first half, Oregon went on a 13-3 run and held a 33-21 lead with under six minutes remaining in the half.

The Ducks took a 43-31 lead into the halftime break. Madsen had 11 points to lead the way. The Runnin’ Utes shot 39% from the field and was outrebounded 23-14. Will Richardson scored 15 points to lead Oregon.

Utah Comes Up Short Despite Late Rally

After trailing by double digits at the half, Utah rallied back into the game and was within five points with 10:50 remaining in the game. David Jenkins Jr. and Branden Carlson each hit big three-pointers and Riley Battin got an and-one to rock the Huntsman Center.

Utah outscored Oregon 20-13 in the first nine minutes of the second half. Minutes later, head coach Craig Smith was called for a technical foul after a missed call by the officials when Rollie Worster was hit on the arm in the paint. Smith was livid and was T’d up on the spot.

Oregon extended their lead back to 10 with under eight minutes to play. The Ducks essentially put the game out of reach when they bumped that lead up to 14 with 5:23 remaining.

But, the Runnin’ Utes didn’t give up that easily. Marco Anthony sparked a run with a monster alley-oop slam over an Oregon defender. After trailing by five points with just over one minute left, Rollie Worster scored a layup to cut the deficit to three, 74-71.

The Ducks made a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game. Then Both Gach got a layup to go to trim it back to three. With 24 seconds left, Oregon turned the ball over on a traveling violation in the backcourt. On a missed three by Gabe Madsen on the inbounds pass, Oregon was called for a loose ball foul. Marco Anthony made both free throws to make it 76-75 Ducks with 21 seconds left.

Oregon connected on both free throws to extend their advantage to three. Then Rollie Worster was fouled and hit both free throws. Oregon was able to get a pass down the court past a defender and got the layup to go. Eli Ballstaedt missed the game-tying three-pointer.

Utah dropped their record to 9-15 overall and 2-12 in Pac-12 play. They will have an entire week off before they head to Boulder to face Colorado on Saturday, February 12 at 6 p.m. MT on the Pac-12 Network.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com, Co-Host of Faith, Family and Football podcast with Clark Phillips III and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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