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Men's Basketball Falls Short in Eugene, 67-64

Feb 20, 2021

Box Score (PDF) | Boxscore

EUGENE, Ore. – In a back-and-forth battle against Oregon Saturday night inside Matthew Knight Arena saw the Utah men's basketball team falter with two critical turnovers down the stretch in its 67-64 loss to the Ducks.
Utah big man Branden Carlson got the game going with a bang when he threw it down on a pass from Riley Battin. Despite good defense on either ends of the floor, both teams shot above .500 in the first 20 minutes of action as the two teams exchanged baskets. Neither squads were able to go on any substantial runs with Utah's 6-0 spurt being the largest of the first half to take an early 13-10 lead moments out of the 15:05 media break.
Alfonso Plummer was one of seven Utes to score in the first half and allowed Utah (9-10, 6-9 Pac-12) to keep pace with the Ducks, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers – including the his third one that gave Utah the 28-26 advantage with 5:32 remaining in the first half.
After some more back-and-forth action, Pelle Larsson broke the tie to give Utah the 35-33 lead into the locker room as the shot-clock wound down with a nice left-handed finish at the rim for the 16th lead change.

Larsson opened the second frame with a pair of free throw to give Utah the 37-33 edge before a 7-0 run by the Ducks (14-4, 9-3 Pac-12) forced a Ute timeout at the 16:33 mark down 42-39. Oregon continued to hang onto its two-possession lead in the middle portion of the half despite back-to-back baskets from Carlson cutting the lead down to 52-51 – which forced a UO timeout.  
A second timeout from Oregon with 5:51 left to play came after Will Richardson made it 56-53 in favor of the Ducks. Carlson and Allen tied things up at 56-56 but Eric Williams Jr. put Oregon back on top, 58-56, heading into the final media timeout (3:29) but not before Plummer drew a foul on a great pump fake beyond the arc.
The Utah sharpshooter knocked all three down to give the Utes a 59-58 lead before Allen hit a pair of free throws of his home to extend that lead to 61-58. However, that lead was short-lived as Chris Duarte drained a corner three down on the other end followed by another three from LJ Figueroa after Oregon's final timeout with 2:14 to go.

Plummer wasn't going to let the Utes go down without a fight and answered Figueroa with a 3-pointer of his own with 1:34 remaining. Duarte hit the front end of his two free throws to give the Ducks a narrow 65-64 lead but a turnover on Plummer late in the game followed by a double-dribble call on Allen by mid-court in the final minute of play saw the Utes fall 67-64.
Utah had four players finish in double-figures led by Plummer's 17 points on 4-of-8 shooting from deep while Allen added 15 points of his own. Carlson was just short of another double-double, posting 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting with nine rebounds. Larsson also had 13 points on the night, going 4-of-8 from the floor with seven rebounds and five assists.
The game had 16 lead changes in the first half before finishing with just 19 lead changes … the game was also tied nine different times – four of which came in the second half … Utah is now 4-5 in Pac-12 play when leading at the half and 8-5 overall … Utah now moves to 1-7 all-time playing on the road at Oregon since joining the Pac-12.
Utah now returns home to start its remaining homestand inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Utes will first take on UCLA next Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.