UTAH UTES

Utah Struggles To Find Scoring Groove Against The Ducks, Lose First Pac-12 Game

Jan 7, 2023, 7:16 PM

Branden-Carlson-Battles-Against-Oregon-At-The-Huntsman-Center...

Utah Utes center Branden Carlson (35) goes to the hoop between Oregon Ducks guard Rivaldo Soares (11) and center Kel'el Ware (10) during the game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023. (Photo Cred: Spencer Heaps/Deseret News)

(Photo Cred: Spencer Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah basketball welcomed in the Oregon Ducks Saturday afternoon at the Huntsman Center for their annual “Dark Mode” game. After battling it out for 40-minutes in a mostly defensive chess match, the Utes succumbed to the Ducks  70-60. For most of the season, Utah has been a solid shooting team, but Oregon made a point to get after the ball often and early resulting in a poor shooting performance that ultimately cost the Utes the game.

The Utes now stand at 12-5 on the season while recording their first Pac-12 loss (5-1). Utah got a win earlier in the week against Oregon State that marked a milestone for the program who had never started Pac-12 Conference play 5-0.

Utah’s First Half Against The Ducks

Utah earned possession of the first time and didn’t waste much time getting points on the board via Ben Carlson, but that would be the first and last time the Utes would lead in the first half.

By around the 15-minute mark, Utah was 0-7 from the field, but center Branden Carlson would sink a three to help end the dry spell. Still, Oregon was reluctant to give up that easily and the Utes trailed by two, 8-6.

At the 11-minute mark, the Ducks had built up comfortable 10-point lead. Utah continued to battle and cut the lead to eight by the seven-minute mark with a good defensive effort and slightly better shooting.

Utah would end the first half on a high-note, closing the gap on the Ducks to a seven-point lead, 34-27. However, overall shooting for the half was abysmal with Utah only hitting 27% from the field and 9% from the three.

Oregon clearly went all-in on trying to eliminate BC from the first half of the game, but he still managed to lead the team at the half in points with eight, and rebounds with six.

Second Half For The Utes

The Utes came out energized to start the second half improving their field goal shooting to 31%. However, they still trailed by the first media timeout.

Utah really started to come alive when center Keba Keita was inserted into the game. Keita’s size appeared to lend itself to the “bully ball” Oregon wanted to play and the Ducks had a hard time finding and answer to Utah’s answer. Lazar Stefanovic also came through with a couple of key shots that helped inch the Utes back to within range of the Ducks.

Oregon began to pull away again from the Utes around the 10-minute mark increasing their lead back to 10. Fouls and turnovers didn’t help Utah, but certainly aided the Ducks with easy points to get extend their lead.

The Utes came back within seven with under six minutes to play and then within five with under two minutes to play in the second half, 63-58, but never had enough juice in the tank to finish the job.

Utah would end the night shooting 36% from the field, 14% from the three, and 68% from the line. The Runnin’ Utes would also commit 14 turnovers which led to 20 points for Oregon.

Marco Anthony and Stefanovic took the shooting game over for the Utes and led the team with 15 and 13 points respectively, but their efforts unfortunately were not enough to overcome the poor first half start.

 

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

wrigley field...

Brian Preece

Locals In MLB: Hodge Delights In Debut, Dunn Returns To Milwaukee

Former Cottonwood Colt Porter Hodge had a memorable MLB debut when he finally took the mound in front of 35,000 fans at beautiful Wrigley Field.

2 hours ago

craig-smith-sits-in-thought-during-runnin-utes-game-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Basketball Adds Transfer From Eastern Carolina University

The Runnin' Utes got a little better after receiving a commitment from ECU transfer forward Ezra Ausar.

3 hours ago

Cam Rising Brant Kuithe Lander Barton Out For Season...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Quarterback Cam Rising To Put On Camp For Community

Utah quarterback Cam Rising (along with several of his Utah football teammates) will be putting on a camp for the community in June.

4 hours ago

60 in 60 Fan Vote (2024)...

KSL Sports

Hans & Scotty’s 60 in 60 Fan Vote (2024)

It’s that time of year again, Hans and Scotty G. are counting down the 60 best college football players in the state of Utah ahead of the 2023 college football season.

24 hours ago

mark-harlan-will-serve-on-cfp-selection-committee-in-2023...

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Athletics Releases Statement Debunking Rumored ACC Courtship

Memorial Day weekend got off to an interesting start as rumors began to swirl that Utah was in the middle of a courtship with the ACC before even starting their journey with the Big 12.

1 day ago

Micah-Bernard-Utah-Utes-Rose-Bowl-Game...

Michelle Bodkin

Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Running Backs

Today’s focus is on another group that has produced a lot of NFL talent for the Utes- Utah football’s running backs.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Utah Struggles To Find Scoring Groove Against The Ducks, Lose First Pac-12 Game