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No. 10 Oregon outlasts Utah in 73-67 thriller

Dillon Brooks scores game-high 19 points in return

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The No. 10 Oregon Ducks (19-2, 8-0) used a 23-8 surge to separate themselves in the second half before holding on for a 73-67 win over the Utah Utes (14-6, 5-3) in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

With the victory, the Ducks extend their all-time winning streak to 17 games and start conference play 8-0 for the first time since 1926.

Dillon Brooks, who was a game-time decision after missing a week with a foot injury, paced the team with 19 points and three assists. Jordan Bell (15p, 4r), Dylan Ennis (13p, 5r) and Chris Boucher (10p, 7r, 3b) also reached double-digit scoring, as the Ducks shot 49 percent from the floor.

"We got contributions from a lot of guys,” coach Dana Altman said. “That's what you've got to have on the road."

Playing in front of a sold-out crowd at the Huntsman Center, the Utes were the aggressors early in the first half, getting out in transition and attacking the basket with relative ease.

Utah led by as many as six points in the first half before Oregon crept its way back. Brooks either scored or assisted on the Ducks’ final seven points of the period, finding Boucher for a two-handed slam to finally flip the lead, 30-29.

The Ducks led a mere 1:02 in the first half, but carried a 33-31 edge into the second, where their defense translated into fluid offense.

"Our guys found a way,” Altman said. “We stayed with the defense and stayed on it."

Oregon forced a pair of turnovers as part of an early 8-0 run to take a 47-41 advantage. Bell highlighted the surge, using the rim as his own personal pull-up bar.

Bell and Ennis combined for 11 of the next 12 points for the Ducks, as they extended their lead to as many as 13, 62-49, thanks to Ennis’ triple in transition.

The Ducks were flying high, playing above the rim for a few highlight-worthy clips, but the Utes stormed back with a 15-6 surge to pull within four, 70-66, at the 1:43 mark. Devon Daniels (11p, 5a) fueled the run with a dunk before Kyle Kuzma (18p, 9r) capped it with a catch-and-shoot three from the corner.

Utah held Oregon without a field goal over the final 3:23, but couldn’t connect on anything other than a free throw following Kuzma’s trey.

The Utes, who received a vote in the latest AP Top 25, saw a two-game winning streak snap after sweeping the Evergreen State last week.

Oregon concludes its two-game road trip at Colorado on Saturday, Jan. 28. Tipoff from the Coors Event Center is set for 6:30 p.m. PT. The Buffaloes (11-10, 1-7) most recently snapped a seven-game skid with an 85-78 win over a struggling Oregon State team (4-17, 0-8).