Utes can't pull off another upset as Oregon to face UCLA for crown
LAS VEGAS — Damyean Dotson and E.J. Singler scored 14 points each and Oregon raced away from Utah early for a 64-45 victory Friday night in the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament semifinals.
Oregon (25-8) had its regular-season conference title chances spoiled by Utah (15-18) last weekend, but gave the Utes no chance of a repeat upset at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The third-seeded Ducks built a 14-point lead in the first half and kept the cushion near double figures the rest of the way to earn a spot in the title game Saturday against No. 21 UCLA.
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Oregon also stifled Jarred DuBois and Jordan Loveridge, Utah’s top two scorers, all night. DuBois missed all eight of his shots and went scoreless, while Loveridge had eight points on 1-for-10 shooting.
Utah shot 29 percent and went 5 of 17 from three-point range.
Oregon used an early 16-4 run to stake its claim on a 21-10 lead. After a three-pointer by Brandon Taylor, the Ducks went on another 6-0 run to close the half ahead 29-15. The point total was the lowest in a period this season for the Utes, who only connected on 32 percent of their field goal tries and turned the ball over eight times.
Utah started the second half stronger offensively, but Oregon countered with an 8-0 run of its own, opening up a 41-22 lead. Utah chipped away and trimmed the margin to eight at 47-39 with just less than 10 minutes in regulation. The Utes had a pair of looks to try and get the deficit to five, but could not convert.
From that point, Utah would get no closer and free throws at the end stretched the lead to its final tally of 65-45.
It was a historic run by the Utes. Utah won its first tournament game since joining the Pac-12 on Wednesday with 69-66 victory against USC. The Utes then became the first No. 10 seed in tournament history to capture a pair of games when they knocked off California, 76-66 in overtime Thursday.
Friday, Taylor led Utah with 13 points.