Brandon Taylor scored a game-high 23 points
Jan. 4, 2014
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Brandon Taylor scored 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting and dished out eight assists to lead Utah to an 80-69 victory over Oregon State on Saturday afternoon.
Delon Wright added 14 points and six assists while Jeremy Olsen also chipped in 14 points for the Utes (12-2, 1-1 Pac-12) who won by a double-digit margin for the 11th time this season. Utah shot a blistering 58 percent (29 of 50) from the field and 54.5 percent (12 of 22) from distance.
Roberto Nelson scored 16 points to lead the Beavers (8-6, 0-2 Pac-12) and Hallice Cooke added 14 off the bench. Oregon State shot 50 percent (25 of 50) from the field and 52.6 percent (10 of 19) from outside. But 15 Beaver turnovers led to 15 points for Utah.
Oregon State refused to fold, even after Utah built up a 61-49 lead following a 3-pointer from Dakarai Tucker with 11:11 remaining. The Beavers gnawed away at the deficit and pulled to within three after Devin Collier made a backdoor layup and added a free throw to cap an 11-2 run. Collier's 3-point play whittled Utah's lead to 63-60 with 6:28 left.
Utah made just one field goal over a 5:20 stretch to let Oregon State back into the game. Taylor broke the ice with a pair of huge baskets. He made a jumper to beat the shot clock and followed with a 3-pointer on the next possession to give Utah more breathing room.
A dunk from Olsen with 4:18 left capped the mini-run and gave the Utes an insurmountable 70-60 lead.
Utah struggled to find a rhythm with its outside shooting against Oregon on Thursday. The Utes endured no such problems against Oregon State. In the first half alone, Utah shot 53.8 percent (7 of 13) from 3-point range. It helped the Utes take advantage of a prolonged scoring drought for Oregon State.
After taking a 17-15 lead on a 3-pointer from Hallice Cook with 12:40 left in the first half, the Beavers went the next 7:11 without scoring a field goal. Oregon State turned the ball over six times and missed all five shots it took during that stretch.
Utah responded by going on an 18-0 run. The Utes fueled the run with four 3-pointers on five possessions - starting with a basket from Jordan Loveridge to give Utah the lead. By the time Olsen capped the spurt with a wide-open layup, the Utes led 33-17 with 5:50 left before halftime.
Nelson finally made a jumper with 5:29 to go to stop Oregon State's drought. The Beavers cut the deficit to single digits when Cooke hit another 3-pointer to trim Utah's lead to 35-27 with 2:46 remaining. Parker Van Dyke answered with a 3-pointer on the other end to stop a potential rally and push Utah's lead back to nine at 38-27.
Turnovers made a huge difference in how the first half played out. Oregon State turned the ball over nine times while Utah had just three turnovers. The Utes took full advantage, scoring 13 points off of those miscues by the Beavers.