Oregon's defense steps up against Utah, advances to semifinals

Oregon held the Utes to 34 percent shooting.

Posted: Mar 14, 2019 11:54 PM
Updated: Mar 14, 2019 11:56 PM

Eugene, OR. -- The key to Oregon's winning streak has been defense. It proved to be true once again as the Ducks shut down Utah to advance to the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals, 66-54. 

It's sixth time in as many games that Oregon held a team under 61 points. The Ducks have come out on the winning end in all those contests. 

"If we're not scoring and they're not scoring that's the way we want to play because low scoring games, we're fine with it," Oregon forward Kenny Wooten said. "Other teams don't want to do it, but we're fine with it. We could all score two points and they could all score one and we win. We'll be fine with it."

Oregon held Utah to 34 percent shooting from the floor and just 8.7 percent from three-point range. 

Oregon trailed by six at halftime but a combination of great defense and shooting 17-28 from the floor, the Ducks were able to take the lead in the second half. 

Oregon also received a pair of 20-point performances from Payton Pritchard and Louis King.

The Ducks feel they're playing their best ball at the right time.

"It's March. Every team is playing their hearts out," Oregon guard Ehab Amin said. "You lose, you go home, you win, you survive and advance. That was a huge win for us. We didn't want ot go home today. We live to see another game."

That next game will come against Arizona St. in the semifinals on at 8:30 p.m. on Friday from T-Mobile Arena. 

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