EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon’s Ducks got their bye. Now they have their sights set on something bigger.
Behind 21 points from Devoe Joseph and a 3-point barrage that didn’t end until Oregon had made 15, the Ducks ended their regular-season with a 94-48 rout of visiting Utah Saturday.
Carlos Emory also scored a career-high 19 and E.J. Singler recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Ducks (22-8, 13-5 Pac-12), who locked up third place in the conference and secured a bye in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. It will be a week they hope will end with a berth in the NCAA tournament.
“We reached one of our goals in locking up third and not playing on Wednesday, so now we have to take care of what we can do in the tournament,” said Joseph, a Pac-12 player of the year candidate, who played in the NCAA tournament as a freshman at Minnesota in 2009.
“We definitely have the talent to do it and the motivation,” Joseph said. “That’s the main thing. When you have that motivation and that desire, that you really want to make that run to get to the postseason, that takes over everything.”
Jason Washburn scored 26 to lead the Utes (6-24, 3-15), who went 0-12 on the road this season, concluding with their worst loss in school history.
This one got ugly for Utah real fast as the Ducks went up 34-2 in the first 13 minutes of the game.
Oregon was lights out from the field during that stretch, making 12 of its first 15 shots, including 6 for 6 from the 3-point line.
“We were just making plays for each other and playing unselfishly,” said Oregon’s Garrett Sim, who had 13 points. “It seemed like they were always leaving someone open and we were finding that guy. We did a great job of playing together.”
The Utes couldn’t have started much worse. They went 1 for 13 (.077) from the floor in the first 13:29 before Anthony Odunis made a jumper with 6:31 left in the first half to spark a short 10-6 run to make it 40-12.
But Oregon finished off the half with 3-pointers on four straight possessions to take a 52-14 lead into halftime.
“We just played really well,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “It was a good game for us. We played well offensively, and I thought our activity defensively was pretty good. We couldn’t have shot it much better in that first half.”
The Ducks’ largest lead of the game was 48 points, when a free throw by Tyrone Nared put them up 87-39 with 4:38 to play.
Joseph and Emory both finished 8 for 9 from the floor, 3 for 4 on 3s, and with six rebounds. Joseph also had five assists.
Overall, Oregon shot 56.5 percent from the field, including 65.6 percent in the first half, and outrebounded Utah 42-24.
“That was a great way to end the regular season,” Sim said. “For the last home game that as a lot of fun. We’ve just got to stay focused and work on some things. We know we have a huge upcoming game.”