Utah overtakes Oregon in second half
After trailing by eight points at halftime, Utah heated up in the second half and rallied for a 66-56 victory over Oregon on Friday in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.
Utah (9-3, 1-0 Pac-12) was led by Justin Bibbins with a game-high 19 points, including a 5-for-8 showing from beyond the arc. Sedrick Barefield added 16 points while Tyler Rawson finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Utes.
Utah outscored the Ducks 43-25 in the second half, shooting 14 of 25 from the field (56 percent) and 5 of 11 from beyond the arc (45.5 percent) after the break.
Troy Brown Jr. led Oregon (10-4, 0-1) with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. MiKyle McIntosh added 14 points before fouling out while Elijah Brown chipped in 12. Those three combined to shoot 9 of 18 from beyond the arc while the rest of the team was 1-for-9 from deep.
The Ducks had a chance late in the game trailing, by six with two minutes to play. But, Troy Brown turned the ball over and Utah secured an offensive rebound with one minute to play, causing Oregon to foul and fans to stream for the exit.
Both teams shot 41 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc, but Utah’ s 10 more shots proved to be the difference.
The Ducks began the game hot, scoring the first seven points.
After Utah rallied to cut the deficit to 10-8, McIntosh got started. He ignited an 11-0 run with eight points to give the Ducks their largest lead of the half at 21-8.
Utah rallied again, knocking down back-to-back 3-pointers make the deficit much more manageable.
Both teams struggled offensively after the final Utes run as Oregon led 31-23 at the break.
McIntosh and both Browns carried the Ducks offensively, combining for 29 of the team’s points at the break, and shooting 6 of 9 from beyond the arc.
The Ducks will have a chance to even their conference record when they host Colorado on Sunday night. Utah visits Oregon State on Sunday.