Utes Thwart Ducks’ Comeback Bid

SALT LAKE CITY — Oregon closed within four points in the third quarter, but 20th-ranked Utah held off the Ducks’ comeback bid to hand the Ducks a 70-48 loss Sunday afternoon at Huntsman Center. 

Center Phillipina Kyei paced UO with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting along with a team-high 12 rebounds and four assists. It was Kyei’s Pac-12-leading 16th double-double of the season. Grace VanSlooten was the only other player to score in double figures,finishing with 14 points and three rebounds.

“In the first half, it’s the same thing we’ve struggled all year long – points off turnovers and second-chance point,” The 14 extra shots in the first half, it’s hard to make up that kind of ground. I thought in the third quarter we came out and played with a little but more intensity. We got on the ground after loose balls and the rebounding was better.”

A 6-0 run in the third quarter got the Ducks within four at 41-37, but Utah finished the game on a 39 of the game’s final 50 points. Jenna Johnson led all players with 20 points, while Maty Wilke scored 17 and Alissa Pili added 16.

Oregon (11-14, 2-10 Pac-12) shot at a higher percentage than the Utes (43 percent to 41), but UU connected on a dozen 3-pointers while the Ducks made just one. Fourteen offensive rebounds by Utah led to 15 second-chance points.

How It Happened: Oregon started quick in opening a 6-3 lead, only to see Utah then score the next seven to retake the lead. Three unanswered 3-pointers later in the quarter helped UU to a 19-12 lead after one.

The Utes put together two separate 7-0 spurts in the second quarter in building a 12-point halftime lead, 35-23, despite the Ducks shooting 45 percent from the floor to Utah’s 39 percent. UU went 6-of-17 from behind the arc, while Johnson was 7-for-10 from the floor in scoring 16 first-half points.

Kyei paced the Ducks with nine points, six rebounds and three assists while going 4-of-5 from the field. UU converted nine offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points and outrebounded UO in the half 21-14.

A 6-0 run in the third quarter inched the Ducks within four points with just over four minutes left in the third. Utah responded by scoring the next five, including a Pili 3-pointer, to extend its lead to 46-37. In total, UU finished the third quarter on an 11-4 run to lead by 11, 52-41.

Utah kept its offensive momentum rolling in to the fourth quarter, as it opened the frame on a 16-3 run to create a 22-point gap at 68-44. UU won the fourth quarter by a count of 18-7.

Notable: Kyei carded her Pac-12-leading 16th double-double of the season and has scored at least 10 points in 11 straight games (career long) … The game marked the Ducks’ fifth straight against a top-25 team (0-9 against ranked teams this season) … UO tied its season low with two bench points … The Utes have won four straight against the Ducks for their longest winning streak in the series history.

Up Next: The Ducks return to Matthew Knight Arena Friday to host USC (7 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Network).