Oregon-Utah Preview

The Associated Press

With the conference championship still on the line, Oregon has no time to dwell on its latest setback.

The No. 19 Ducks can clinch at least a share of the Pac-12 regular-season championship as they visit Utah on Saturday.

Oregon (23-7, 12-5) hardly looked like a conference-title contender in its first opportunity to win the crown Thursday, shooting 37.5 percent in a 76-53 loss at Colorado.

"This one is done and there's nothing we can do about it," said coach Dana Altman, whose team dropped into a first-place tie with No. 23 UCLA. "I don't say that very often, but we definitely have to say it this time. It's over with; we have to bounce back real quick.

"We still have half a championship to play for."

If the Ducks beat Utah (12-17, 4-13) and the Bruins snap an eight-game road skid to Washington, the teams would share the title. Oregon, which last won a league championship in 2002, would earn the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament based on its victory over UCLA on Jan 19.

If both teams lose, Oregon, UCLA, California and No. 18 Arizona could potentially finish in a four-way tie for the title.

The Ducks are focused on trying to play better than they did Thursday, when they failed to take advantage of a Colorado team playing without Andre Roberson, who ranks among the national leaders with 11.5 rebounds per game. Oregon still got outrebounded 38-35, shot a season-worst 9 of 22 from the free-throw line and went 2 of 12 from 3-point range.

Forward Arsalan Kazemi believes the Ducks were simply outplayed and did not succumb to the stress of trying to wrap up a piece of the Pac-12 title.

"No, it wasn't any pressure, it was excitement," said Kazemi, one of three Ducks with a team-leading 10 points. "I think we thought they were just going to give it to us. It didn't happen. So we just have to go and take it.

"We have a really important game against Utah (on) Saturday, so this game is all gone. We just have to think about that game."

After winning both 2012 meetings against the Utes by a combined 57 points, Oregon had to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit in a 73-64 home win over Utah on Feb. 9. E.J. Singler had 21 points, Damyean Dotson scored 16 and Kazemi added 11 with 14 boards to help the Ducks snap a three-game skid.

Singler has been held to 7.5 points per game on 25.0 percent shooting in the last four, but the senior has averaged 15.0 points and gone 11 of 22 from the field in three matchups with Utah.

The Utes should have some momentum after snapping a four-game slide with Thursday's 72-61 home win over Oregon State.

"It will be their Senior Day and we'll have a big challenge on our hands," Altman said.

Senior center Jason Washburn, who scored 15 points Thursday to top 1,000 for his Utah career, has totaled 46 on 20-of-32 shooting in the last two with Oregon.

Freshman Jordan Loveridge averages a team-leading 6.9 rebounds but failed to record one in 33 minutes against the Ducks.

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