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3 keys to Oregon’s 80-77 win over upset-minded Runnin’ Utes

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Oregon Ducks forward Eric Williams Jr., wearing green, and Utah Utes guard Marco Anthony, wearing white, compete for a rebound

Oregon Ducks forward Eric Williams Jr. (50) and Utah Utes guard Marco Anthony (10) compete for a rebound during the game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

A furious Utah comeback attempt fell just short, as the Utes cut the deficit to three a couple times in the final 1:30 and to one with 21 seconds left, but couldn’t quite pull off the upset.

Oregon’s Jacob Young made a layup with four seconds left, and Eli Ballstaedt had a look at a 3-point try with two seconds remaining, but it didn’t fall and Oregon escaped the Huntsman Center with an 80-77 win.

Here are 3 keys to Oregon’s 80-77 win over the Utes:

• Oregon shot 13 of 26 from 3-point range, including some ridiculously long bombs, and got 25 points from Will Richardson to deny Utah’s upset bid. Jacob Young and De’Vion Harmon combined for 26 points for NCAA bubble-sitting Oregon.

• Gabe Madsen hit three 3-pointers in the first two minutes and Utah jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead, but the freshman eventually cooled off and the Ducks found their footing. Madsen finished with 19 to lead the Utes. Oregon rolled out to a 43-31 lead at halftime, thanks to 49% shooting from the floor and 64% (7 of 11) from 3-point range.

• The Runnin’ Utes shot 39% in the first half and committed seven turnovers to find themselves in a big hole. They scratched back in the second half, and cut the deficit to four on Riley Battin’s 3-point play with 10:50 remaining. But Oregon went on a 9-1 run to regain control. Utah missed eight free throws, after entering the game as the country’s fourth-best free-throw shooting team.