LAS VEGAS – Oregon shrugged off a poor first half and compensated with a 48-second second half to beat the night's sleep of Utah 66-54 in a Pac-12 quarter-final game on Thursday-evening at the T-Mobile Arena.
The Ducks, with eight points in a row in the first half, gathered behind Payton Pritchard and Louis King to defeat Utah and advance to the semifinals of the tournament. Oregon (21-12) plays Arizona State at 8.30 p.m. Friday, where the winner wins a championship berth.
Pritchard and King, who led Oregon with 20 points each, combined for 31 points during the second half.
The defense of the ducks closed off the top three-point shooting team of the Pac-12 and kept Utah at 2 of 23 from behind the arc.
Utah took a 24-18 lead in the halftime locker room after bottling Oregon & # 39; s attack during the first half. The ducks shot 8 of 29 during the opening half.
The Utes were particularly effective during the final stages of the first half. Trailing 14-13 eight minutes before half time, Utah closed the first half with an 11-4 point. Half of the first half of the Utes attack came from Donnie Tillman, who had 12 points in the first 20 minutes. Utah held Oregon at two points from the low of the first half season.
But the Ducks were different in the second half. The shots started to fall and the defense remained constant. Oregon scored the first six points of the half to tie the game at 24-24. Pritchard later rattled five quick points, including one from a swipe to midfield and layout, to place ducks for 31-28.
Pritchard scored nine of Oregon & # 39; s first 13 second-half points. Then it became King & # 39; s turn to shine. During a four-minute ride, he had a three-point game on a putback, a three-point, and a row of layup.
Oregon slowly increased his lead and pushed him to 45-36 on the layout of Victor Bailey Jr. seven minutes to go. Utah cut the deficit back to four on Timmy Allen's back-to-back scores, but White quickly silenced the Utes & surge by hitting a three-point.
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