Eugene, Ore. • For one half, the Jordan Loveridge from earlier in the season returned to the Utah lineup.
The freshman is finally healthy after a knee injury he suffered two weeks ago forced him to sit a game and limited his minutes in two others.
And it showed. Utah fell to No. 19 Oregon 73-64 on Saturday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
But not before Loveridge played a dominant first half.
The rookie from West Jordan scored all 14 of his points in the first 20 minutes, making 3-pointers, taking the ball to the basket and making mid-range jumpers.
"I think he is fully healthy and that's good to see," Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "He's not sitting out of practice. There's no inflammation in his knee and he's going full speed. We need efforts like this from him going forward."
Of course, not all was good with Loveridge against the Ducks. The 6-foot-7 power forward didn't score in the second half, missing all six of his field-goal attempts. Known for his rebounding, he didn't grab a single carom all game. That was key because Utah was outrebounded 41-19.
Loveridge's night mirrored the rest of the freshmen, who were up and down against Oregon. Brandon Taylor looked brilliant at times running the point. At others, he looked inexperienced. Dakari Tucker gave good minutes at small forward. But he and others could rebound when it mattered most. Justin Seymour violated team rules and was suspended for the matchup. Krystkowiak said Seymour will be reinstated for Monday's practice.
"I thought we played well in the first half, but then we made mistakes and it took us out of the game," Taylor said. "We know that we have to clean some things up, and that we have to play well defensively. Teams aren't just going to give us wins."