Salt Lake City – The University of Utah Runnin’ Utes lost to the 10th ranked Oregon Ducks Thursday night in a fantastic overtime battle 70-68. This was the PAC-12 opener for both teams and the biggest test of the season for both. The Ducks didn’t take the win as besting a bottom dwelling scrub team as they piled on top of each other at the end of OT celebrating the buzzer beating win over the pesky Utes. With seven seconds left in overtime and the game tied at 68, the Utes had possession and called a timeout to plan out the final shot of overtime. The ball was brought in near half court to Dallin Bachynski who quickly turned to make a pass outside which was deflected by the Duck’s Damyean Dotson. Dotson followed the tip to take possession and turned it into a breakaway slam dunk leaving only a second left in the game for the Utes to counter. Utah quickly threw the ball in with a long pass to Jordan Loveridge who let the last second shot go but hit the back of the rim and fell out of the hoop.
For the Utes, Jordan Loveridge scored 21 points, while Delon Wright had 14 and Dallin Bachynski added a double double of 11 points and 12 rebounds. The Utes fall to 11-2 for the season and 0-1 in conference play. They led by as many as 10 points but unlike many of the lesser teams Utah has faced this year the Ducks continued to battle and took the game to overtime before winning the game with the last second dunk by Dotson. Loveridge had game winning 3-point attempts at the buzzer in both regulation and overtime. There were times in the first half where the Utes threw the ball around not wanting to shoot but Loveridge on the other hand always seem to want the ball and was eager to shoot. The ball in his hand at the end of the game is what the Utes wanted and needed. The shots just didn’t fall today for Loveridge.
A highlight in the game for Utah was the human caption maker Delon Wright who had 4 blocks in the game, three in the first half. Wright had a solid game as usual and had the ball in his hands with eight seconds left in the game and the lane cleared out for him to drive to the hoop but a timeout was called instead of letting the playmaker finish. The Utes came up with a play that did allow Loveridge to have an open look from behind the arc but there was a question on letting the young team finish on their own without setting up a end of game play. His clutch free throws at the end of the game along with Brandon Taylor also kept the Utes in the game during regulation.
For the Oregon Ducks Damyean Dotson was unbelievable with who finished with 11 points, the game winning steal and the dunk that ended up being the game winner. Richard Amardi had 14 points and Dominic Artis added 12 for Oregon off the bench who are now 13-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference. Oregon tied the game behind a 12-2 spurt that started and finished with layups by Elgin Cook. The Ducks finally took a 51-49 lead on a tip-in basket by Amardi with 7:32 left.
Both Utah and Oregon struggled with their shooting. Oregon shot only 38.7 percent (24 of 62) from the field but the Utes shoot only 38.1 percent (24 of 63). Both teams ranked in the top five nationally in field goal percentage coming into the game. The Utes shot just 15.8 percent (3 of 19) from three and Oregon started the game by missing 12 of its first 14 shots.
Next up for the University of Utah Utes is another home game on Saturday at 2:00 against the Oregon State Beavers. The complete schedule for all Utah Sporting News content can be viewed on our calendar.