2016 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament: Tyler Dorsey, Oregon roll past Utah for tourney championship
LAS VEGAS – The 11th and final game of the Pac-12 Tournament went like every one before it. For the first time in tournament history, the higher seed won every game.
The Oregon Ducks' dominant 88-57 victory Saturday against the No. 2 seed Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship Game acted as a statement despite the result being chalk. Dana Altman's 28-6 team did its job in the conference tournament, putting itself in consideration for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Ducks scored 19 points off 13 first-half turnovers, and they also won on the offensive glass (9-2) to score 11 second-chance points to none for Utah.
“We've got to get some points off turnovers because of our lack of size," Altman said. "We also feel like those are big hustle stats."
To put the turnovers and rebounding in another perspective, Oregon got 35 shots off to just 15 for the Utes. The 20-shot difference remained by game's end.
Senior forward Elgin Cook, who won the Pac-12 Tournament's Most Outstanding player award, scored 11 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists.
Fellow All-Pac-12 Tournament Team member Tyler Dorsey led the Ducks with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting while grabbing nine rebounds. Dillon Brooks added 18 points and center Chris Boucher tallied 15 – both joined the other two Ducks on the All-Tournament squad.
Oregon led 15-13 with 10:28 to play in the first half before ripping off a 23-8 run to close the half with a 38-21 lead as turnovers plagued the Utes.
It was reminiscent of a day earlier, when the Ducks blitzed the Arizona Wildcats for a 15-2 run before halftime.
“We lost this game basically in the first half, at the end of the first half,” said Utah center Jakob Poeltl. “We didn't have the energy or focus to come back from those easy baskets we gave them from the mistakes we made.”
The Utes committed a total of 20 turnovers leading to 28 Oregon points, and they shot 43 percent to the Ducks' 52 when they did get off attempts.
Utah never could cut the deficit to less than 17 points, and Oregon led by as many as 36 points with less than four minutes to play.
“Self-inflicted gun-shot wounds when you make it hard,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “It's not shocking. You get your medicine. I'm excited to see what tomorrow holds. I like being humbled before the biggest phase of this season starts. If it means getting our butts waxed in the championship game we'll take some medicine and hopefully be ready for Monday.”
The Utes were led by 13 points from Poeltl, but no other player reached double-figures. Against the Ducks' matchup zone, Poeltl only got off six shots and he turned the ball over five times.
“They were just aggressive,” Utah point guard Brandon Taylor said. “If we were going to throw the ball in the post, it was open for a split-second. On some of the plays, we probably took too long to get the ball in.”