Utah vs Oregon: Oregon State got ahead early and cruised past Utah 70-51 on Thursday. Utah is now 0-6 in Pac-12 play and 1-7 overall in road games. Utah was never in the game. The Utes fell behind early as in most of their road losses and couldn’t recover from that. They trailed by 16 points at halftime and by as many as 25 points in the second half.
The offense really struggled at Oregon State. They shot just 37.3 percent from the field and missed eight of the 16 free-throws they attempted. Their 14 turnovers also didn’t help and it all produced their lowest scoring output of the season.
Freshman center Branden Carlson scored a team-high 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. No one else scored in double figures and no one else made more than three field goals. You can’t win games like this.
Both Gach returned and played 22 minutes off the bench after missing four games with a leg injury. He scored eight points and was 3-for-7 from the field. Gach gave Utah a boost but they need more from him against Oregon.
Leading scorer Timmy Allen (plus-0.2 Offensive Box Plus/Minus) had his worst game of the season with just six points on 3 of 8 shooting in 36 minutes. Allen exploded for 21 points against California and he’s averaging 17.9 points per game this season. Utah won’t be able to keep up with Oregon and beat the NCAA Basketball odds unless he has a solid performance.
Oregon allowed a 20-0 run against Colorado, trailed by 14 points at one point and still pulled off an incredible 68-60 come-from-behind victory. It was a must-win game for Oregon. This is the fifth time this season that Oregon has battled back from a double-digit deficit to win a game. The Ducks are now tied with the Buffaloes for first place in the Pac-12.
Will Richardson matched his career-high with 21 points and set a new career-best with nine rebounds and Payton Pritchard added 15 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth career double-double. The Ducks were coming off two straight losses and now they’re 13-0 at home.
The Ducks played with a faster pace in the second half and put pressure on the Buffaloes, leading to 12 steals. Oregon also had more space on offense after going with a smaller lineup. Pritchard and Richardson combined for 25 points in the second half after scoring just 11 in the first. It wasn’t a perfect performance from them but they’re a solid backcourt and Utah has to find a way to contain them on Sunday.