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Saturday, February 9, 2013
Oregon's second-half rally thwarts Utah 73-64

Associated Press

EUGENE, Ore. -- Utah was looking at a victory that could help take the sting out of a disappointing season. Leading 30-22 at the break over slumping Oregon, the Utes were only a half away from an upset of a ranked team on the road.

Instead, the No. 19 Ducks handed Utah a 73-64 loss Saturday night.

"We were feeling real great at halftime, but we knew we had to come out in the second half with the same intensity," freshman guard Brandon Taylor said. "They picked up the pressure (in the second half) and started to gain some momentum, getting some key offensive rebounds and going to the foul line."

Jason Washburn had 20 points and seven rebounds for the Utes (10-13, 2-9), who lost their second straight after a victory over Colorado. Jarred DuBois had 15 points and five rebounds, and Jordan Loveridge added 14 points.

E.J. Singler had a 21 points and eight rebounds to help the Ducks (19-5, 8-3 Pac-12) snap a three-game losing streak. Damyean Dotson added 16 points.

After trailing by as many as eight, Oregon rallied with 51 points in the second half, pulling in front midway through the period and extending the lead to 53-45 on Carlos Emory's tip-in with 6:32 left. The Ducks led by as many as 13 down the stretch.

"It was a combination of a lot of things," Washburn said. "They were getting on the offensive glass, they were getting a lot of easy buckets, a technical foul on Cedric Martin. They're a good team. It's hard to keep up with a good team in their own house when they have that type of momentum."

The Ducks were without freshman point guard Dominic Artis for the fifth straight game because of a left foot injury. He averages 10.2 points and a team-leading 3.8 assists for the Ducks, and his steadying influence has been missed.

Both teams got off to rather slow starts. Oregon went up 13-10 on Arsalan Kazemi's dunk with 8:59 left in the first half. Utah went ahead 19-18 on Jordan Loveridge's jumper.

Oregon's recent struggle with turnovers continued, and the Ducks committed 10 within the first 16 minutes. Oregon went into the game with an average of 16 turnovers, most in the Pac-12. They finished with 17 against the Utes.

The Utes extended their lead to 27-20 on Brandon Taylor's jumper with 1:46 left, and Washburn's 3-pointer at the buzzer put Utah ahead 30-22 at the break.

Oregon pulled to 32-31 on Singler's 3-pointer early in the half, but Utah wouldn't let the Ducks take control yet. Brandon Taylor hit a 3-pointer to put the Utes up 37-31.

Johnathan Loyd, a 5-foot-8 junior starting in place of Artis, made a 3-pointer that narrowed it to 43-41 with 11:26 left but then took an elbow to the face from the 6-foot-10 Washburn. Loyd went to the bench for treatment, but later returned.

The momentum shifted to Oregon and Singler's layup tied it at 43 before Oregon went ahead on Kazemi's free throw.

The Ducks climbed to No. 10 in the AP poll after winning all but two of their nonconference games and opening Pac-12 play with seven straight wins. It was Oregon's best league start in 87 years, and their highest ranking since late 2007.

But last week, Oregon lost to Stanford and California. The return home to Matthew Knight Arena was supposed to bring the Ducks some relief, but the Buffaloes hung tough for their first victory in Eugene since 1955.

The losing streak dropped the Ducks out of first place in the Pac-12. Oregon is in a tangle for second behind No. 7 Arizona.

Utah returns home to host the Arizona schools next week.