- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said he told Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle that they set the game of basketball back a bit with a defensive battle Thursday night.

“We grinded and grinded. … It was kind of one of those heavyweight fights,” he said.

Dakarai Tucker scored 11 points as the No. 9 Utes beat the Beavers 47-37, handing Oregon State its first loss in 15 games at home this season.

Delon Wright added nine points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Utes (21-4, 11-2 Pac-12).

Malcom Duvivier scored 12 points for the Beavers (16-10, 7-7).

Both teams scrambled and scrapped on defense, making for a low-scoring affair.

Utah shot 42.5 percent for the game, while Oregon State shot 33.3 percent.

“We told the guys it was going to be a backyard brawl. . They were physical, but our guys stayed toe-to-toe,” Tinkle said.

He wondered if his team was tiring late in the season, however. Only seven Oregon State players took the floor. The team has five walk-ons who joined the squad after an open-gym tryout in October.

Seven minutes into the game, Utah was up by only 5-4. The Utes had five shots and four turnovers at that point, while the Beavers were shooting only 2-9.

Utah led 16-14 at the half.

“We weren’t even hitting shots. We knew that if we kept to the defensive side and really locked down defensively, we knew we would get this outcome,” said Utah guard Brandon Taylor.

The Utes were able to pull ahead in the second half as Oregon State suffered through a 2-15 shooting slump.

A 3-pointer by Taylor with 2:41 left put the Utes up 41-30 and helped seal the win. “I’d been missing all night. I got an open look and I knew it was going in,” said Taylor, who finished with eight points and five rebounds.

Wright came into the game leading Utah with 14.3 points and 5.4 assists per game.

Gary Payton II, the son of former NBA and Beaver great Gary Payton, entered leading Oregon State with 13.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and three steals per game.

Matched up with Wright for much of the game, Payton scored six points.


Utah: The Utes have now been ranked 12 weeks in a row, the school’s best stretch since the 1999-2000 season. … Wright was recently named to the midseason list for the John Wooden, Oscar Robertson, Bob Cousy and James Naismith awards.

Oregon State: The Beavers have been outrebounded in nine straight games, and were beat on the boards 33-25 by Utah. … Forward Olaf Schaftenaar ended an 0-19 stretch from 3-point range, which lasted more than four games, on Thursday. He shot 1-8 from long range on Thursday.


Tinkle and Krystkowiak played together at Montana and both went on to become coach at their alma mater. Tinkle served as an assistant to Krystkowiak in Missoula before taking the reins of the program.


Utah and Arizona remain undefeated at home this season. Visiting squads in general have had trouble in Pac-12 play. The home team was 53-25 in conference games entering the week.


A low-scoring matchup shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. Oregon State came into the game ranked seventh in the nation in field goal defense, holding opponents to 37.6 percent shooting. Utah was 13th at 37.9 percent.


Oregon State: Hosts Colorado on Saturday.

Utah plays: At Oregon on Sunday.

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