Utah stymies Oregon
SALT LAKE CITY — Tyler Kepkay scored 23 points and Utah made a season-high 12 3-pointers Wednesday night to race to a 95-81 victory over Oregon, which was without its leading scorer for the first time this season.
The Ducks' freshman sensation Michael Dunigan missed the game because of an elbow injury. In his absence, Garrett Sim led Oregon with 28 points.
Oregon sorely missed the presence of Dunigan in the middle.
"They (Utah) are a very good veteran basketball team, please don't take anything away from them," said Oregon coach Ernie Kent. "I thought that they were really smart in spreading the floor. Every breakdown we had defensively for the most part they exploited, and they shot the ball extremely well."
Shaun Green scored 21 points and Luke Nevill added 18 and 10 rebounds for Utah (5-1), which shot 58 percent and extended its winning streak to five games — the longest in nearly four years.
The Ducks (3-4) lost their third straight.
"Michael could have negated things inside and maybe put some pressure on Nevill to get him into foul trouble," said Kent. "If we had big Dunigan in there then obviously he could have helped on some of the drives and with the shot blocking, but Utah played extremely well."
Utah buried eight of its 3-pointers in the first half to build a 54-42 halftime lead, and eventually led by as many as 19 points.
"We played very well tonight," said Utah coach Jim Boylen. "We played with a couple different styles.
"They (Oregon) are a very hard team to guard. You have to give them credit for that. I think it was the best offensive team we've played this year so far."
Oregon also played without backup forward Frantz Dorsainvil, who is out with a broken wrist. Forward Joevan Catron, the team's leading rebounder, left the game with an ankle injury during the second half and didn't return.