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Runnin' Utes Fall Late in Tightly Contested Game Versus No. 17 Oregon

Jan 9, 2021

Box Score (PDF) | Boxscore

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team had the visiting No. 17/15-ranked Oregon Ducks on the ropes inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center Saturday night behind 23 points from Timmy Allen and 20 points from Mikael Jantunen, but second-half turnovers proved too much to overcome as the Utes fell to the Ducks 79-73.
The night also saw Allen became Utah's 40th player to record 1,000 career points with 5:20 left to play in the first half on a great feed from Rylan Jones. He also becomes the 21st player to join the Utes' 1,000 career points club as a junior.

With a new starting line-up Saturday night, the Utes (4-4, 1-3 Pac-12) got off to a nice start on the offensive end between Allen and a pair of early 3-pointers from Pelle Larsson – who got his first career start. Oregon's Chris Duarte got the Ducks (9-2, 4-1 Pac-12) within 16-15 of the Utes at the 11:03 media break but it wasn't until there was 8:08 left in the frame before Oregon took its first lead, 21-20.
Three-straight baskets from Allen followed by another three from Larsson gave Utah a nice 13-4 spurt to retake the 33-25 lead with 3:28 to go before taking a comfortable 43-33 lead into halftime. The Mesa, Ariz., product recorded 17 of his season-high 23 points in the opening 20 minutes on 8-of-10 shooting while Jantunen had 11 points and five boards at the break.

Oregon didn't back down and blitzed Utah in the opening minutes of the second-half and took a 50-48 lead out of the first media break after Amauri Hardy completed the 3-point play for Oregon. Allen tied things up at 50-50 not to long after before back-to-back baskets from Jantunen and a lay-in from Larsson gave Utah the 57-54 edge with 10:39 left to go.

Leading 59-58 coming out of the 7:52 media timeout, 17th-ranked Ducks found their mojo offensively and went on a 9-2 run to take a 67-61 lead. The Utes, however, did not back down and cut the Oregon lead down to 70-68 after Riley Battin – who also started Saturday night – rattled in a three with 1:40 remaining. Trouble finding the bottom of the net in the final 1:40 of play saw Utah go 1-of-6 from the field and 0-for-4 from deep while Oregon knocked down 8-of-8 opportunities from the stripe to seal the game.
In addition to Allen scoring a season-high and team-high 23 points, Jantunen's 20 points was career-high for the sophomore forward – who went 8-fo-14 from the field with seven boards. Larsson notched a new season-high in his young career, scoring 15 points with five rebounds and five assists on 5-of-8 shooting – including 3-of-3 from deep.
The last time Utah had two players score 20-plus points in a game was against Colorado on March 7, 2020, when Both Gach had 28 and Alfonso Plummer had 21 points … Saturday was the first game in league play that Utah won the battle of the boards, edging Oregon 36-27 … the 18 turnovers is a season-high for the Utes and allowed Oregon to convert it into a 25-6 advantage in points off turnovers … the 55.8-percent shooting (29-of-52) from Utah was the first time it had shot 55-percent or better since shooting a .578 clip against BYU (Dec. 4, 2019) last season … the eight assists for Jones was a new season-high … Utah is now 6-10 all-time against AP No. 17-ranked teams.
The Utes remain at home and will have a short turnaround as the welcome in #RV/RV Colorado on Monday, Jan. 11, for a 4 p.m. (MT) tip-off on Pac-12 Networks. Todd Harris will once again have the call while Don MacLean serves as the analyst.