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Oregon Falls to Utah in Conference Opener

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NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Oregon Joseph Weiser-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks (10-4) fall at home to the Utah Utes (9-3) 66-56 in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. Oregon suffers their first conference home loss since the 2014-15 season.

A second-half surge, led by Justin Bibbins, proved fatal after Oregon appeared in control after a strong start to the game. Bibbins scored 16 of 19 points in the second half to secure victory for the Utes on the road.

Sedrick Barefield scored 16 points, and David Collette put in 11 points to assist Bibbins in helping the Utes spoil the Ducks’ conference home opener.

Utah came out after halftime with a strong performance after trailing 31-23 after one period. The Utes scored on nine of their first ten possessions and ultimately took the lead with under eleven minutes to play in the game. Oregon came within range of possibly edging out a win, but Utah held on.

Oregon saw their five-game winning streak end as turnovers (16-4), and second-chance opportunities (11-3) cost the Ducks the first victory. The Utes committed only three turnovers in the game compared to the Ducks eleven.

For Utah, the win snapped a nine-game losing streak to Oregon and was their first road win in a conference opener since joining the Pac-12. The Utes will have an opportunity for a road sweep of the Oregon schools for the first time with a matchup against Oregon State on Sunday.

The Ducks got outscored by the Utes in the second half as the team could not overcome Utah’s early momentum. Utah leads the Pac-12 in only allowing about 68 points per game and kept Oregon from reaching their season average.

Troy Brown paced the Ducks with 16 points, and Mikyle McIntosh added 14 points. Payton Pritchard turned a performance he will immediately want to forget with seven points and committing four turnovers. Kenny Wooten had five blocks but was kept off the scoreboard in buckets.

At the start, Oregon jumped out to a quick lead, and a few runs helped to extend the lead. Utah got within five before halftime, but a three-pointer by Brown cushioned the lead to eight before the break.

Arizona was the last team to defeat Oregon at home back in 2015. For the Ducks, a response is needed next game should coach Dana Altman want to see his team factor in the conference race.

Colorado comes to Eugene to close out 2017 on Sunday. Tipoff begins at 7:00 p.m. with a telecast on the Pac-12 Networks.