PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — No. 17 Oregon Ducks routed the visiting Utah Utes in an 80-62 win Sunday at the Matt Knight Arena.
Here are the six takeaways from the game:
First half 3-point shooting
The Ducks came out in the first half on fire against the Utes especially from behind the arc. Shooting guard Will Richardson was elite in the first half, draining three long-range shots that put the Ducks up big early against the Utes, setting the tone of their home win.
Defense is something the Ducks pride themselves on. More importantly, they put a ton of pressure on the ball handlers as soon as they inbound the ball with their full-court press. The Ducks did exactly what they needed to do and found ways to make the Utes uncomfortable and used the press to perfection, which led to five steals for the Ducks.
Ducks can’t play down to competition
Oregon was the more talented team. But, at one point, when the Ducks were leading by 18 points, they allowed the Utes to bring the game back within five. We have seen it a handful of times this season, the Ducks need to grow in the aspect of maintaining a high level of play no matter who they are playing. It seems like once they get a big-time lead, they let up and take their foot off the gas. While the Ducks still beat the Utes, they need to sharpen up their play if they expect to make a deep run in the conference championship and March Madness.
Ducks got their shots
The Ducks shot a very efficient 57% from the field against the Utes. This is because whatever offense the Ducks wanted to run, they did. Utah wasn’t able to stop the Ducks offense and more importantly, they weren’t able to stop the Ducks big-time player Payton Pritchard, who dropped 25 points getting to all of his spots and knocking down his shots.
The bench for the Ducks had a huge performance in the win against the Utes. Both Addison Patterson and Anthony Mathis contributed some big-time performances for the Ducks. Those two alone outscored Utah’s whole bench by three points. If the Ducks bench can continue to put up big performances, they will be able to continue to put up wins.
The Ducks were the more physical team in the win. Players were pushing around the Utes, talking a little smack, and being aggressive all the way around. With being the more physical team, the Ducks were able to make the Ute players think twice before driving into the lane which ended up altering their shots. I always believe the more physical team will win and the Ducks were able to do that.
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