Oregon St. (8-5, 0-1) at Utah (11-2, 0-1) / Huntsman Center / 2 PM MST (1 PM PST) / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. stops off in Salt Lake City on their way back from Boulder to complete their Rocky Mt. road trip today to play Utah. With the unbalanced Pac-12 schedule, this year's rotation means this weekend will be the only meetings between the "mountain teams", Colorado and Utah, and the Oregon teams.
The Beavers lost a close contest Thursday night at #20 Colorado, falling 64-58 to the Buffs. Roberto Nelson led Oregon St., with a game high 23 points, but he was the only Beaver in double figures scoring.
Forward Eric Moreland returned after being suspended for the non-conference part of the season, and was in double digits in rebounds, with a co-game high 10 boards.
The Utes lost a heart-breaker Thursday night, falling to #10 Oregon 70-68 in overtime, after the Ducks' Dominic Artis tipped a pass intended for Utah's Dallin Bachynski to Damyean Dotson, who raced down the court for the game winning breakaway dunk with 1 second left.
Both of Utah's losses have been by 2 points, with their only other setback being a 69-67 loss at Boise St. back on Dec. 3.
Jordan Loveridge, a 6'6" sophomore forward who leads the Utes in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 17.1 points and 9.1 boards per game, had a game high 21 points, and Delon Wright added 14 points, and also had 6 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Wright, who is a 6'5" junior guard, is second in scoring and rebounding for Utah, and leads the Utes in assists, averaging 14.8, 6.9, and 5.6 in those categories.
The Utes also got an 11 point, 12 rebound double double from 7' Dallin Bachynski off the bench.
Last year, the teams split. Oregon St. played one of their better games of the year, winning 82-64 at Gill, but then losing 72-61 in the Huntsman Center on the last weekend of the regular season, which started Utah on a 4 game winning streak that included an upset of Oregon that cost the Ducks the Pac-12 regular season title, and carried the Utes to the 3rd round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
The Beavers win came in a streaky game, something of a Coach Craig Robinson trademark, in which Nelson had a game high 26 points, and Joe Burton made a run at a triple double, with 17 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds.
The Utes were led by the graduated Jarred Dubois, who had 20 points, and 21 by Brandon Taylor. Taylor had a full stat line, 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists, against Oregon.
Utah's problem was related to Loveridge, who was coming back after missing their prior game after suffering a knee injury. Loveridge played 30 minutes off coach Larry Krystkowiak's bench, but only made 3 of 11 shots, and missed all of his 3 point attempts.
When the teams reconvened in Salt Lake City, Nelson again was the high scorer, with 18 points, Devon Collier added 10 points, and Challe Barton had one of his best games ever, hitting 5 of 6 3 pointers for 15 points. Burton, however, had only 1 point, and Moreland, though he had a team high 11 points, only added 2 points.
Loveridge was back in full form, leading the Utes with 17 points, and a game high 12 rebounds. Utah had 4 players in double digits, and coupled with a slow start to the second half by the Beavers, who were out-scored 10-3 up to the first media time out, falling behind 40-29, Oregon St. was never able to get closer than 6 points the rest of the day.