Pritchard drew most of the defensive attention as usual so the Ducks ended up moving the ball to Shakur Juiston and Chandler Lawson. They each had a pair of layups to erase Utah’s late lead and clinch the game for Oregon (12-3, 1-1 Pac-12).
Both Gach scored a career-high 24 points and Timmy Allen had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Utes (10-4, 1-1), who made a stunning comeback but didn’t have enough fuel to finish it off.
Allen scored six points in a 12-0 run that ended when Allen made a layup with 7:29 to play to make it 58-56 for Utah. During the burst, Allen was flagrantly fouled by Shakur Juiston and collided full-speed with Pritchard, which gave the Oregon guard a bloody nose.
Richardson’s 3 gave Oregon its largest lead of the game at 56-46 and capped an 8-2 run in which Pritchard also found his range with a pair of jumpers.
Utah has lost two of three – both to ranked teams — after a five-game win streak.
Oregon returned to its winning ways after dropping to 0-9 against Colorado in Boulder on Thursday.
The Ducks trailed 24-23, before they started finding lanes to the basket in a late first half run. All of Oregon’s final nine baskets of the half were dunks or layups, including Pritchard’s layup to beat the horn and give the Ducks a 36-31 lead at the break.
Utah is 1-7 against the Ducks when they are ranked.
Oregon: After losing its Pac-12 opener to Colorado, Oregon leaned on its defense and athleticism to turn back the Utes. Pritchard is the go-to guy but he showed enough maturity to find the open men down the stretch. The Ducks need to limit their fouls to win games like this one without a tight finish.
Utah: In previous losses, the Utes couldn’t handle Oregon’s press but in this one the young Utes took care of the ball and, instead, couldn’t shoot. The Utes battled all night but couldn’t overcome their 35.6% shooting. Allen went 6-of-18 and the Utes couldn’t find easy shots when the Ducks turned up the defensive pressure on their stars.
Oregon: hosts Arizona on Thursday.
Utah: visits Colorado on Jan. 12.