In a wild, sloppy game that featured high field-goal percentages and tons of turnovers, the Huskies were out-played down the stretch for their third straight loss.
The first half was extremely competitive, featuring blistering 60% shooting from Washington and several transition dunks for the Ducks to go along with double-digit turnovers for both teams. Heading into the second half, it looked like whichever team managed to cut down the turnovers while maintaining the high-percentage shooting would end up victorious.
Thing is, it turned out a little more complicated than that. The team that came out victorious, Oregon, actually finished with the most turnovers, with 23 to Washington’s 21. However, the Ducks also stayed hot with 57% shooting while Washington cooled off and struggled to 51%. Beyond that, Oregon dominated free throws, hitting 27-37 (73%) as opposed to a horrific 14-24 (58%) for the Dawgs. The rebounding battle remained close after being tied 10 to 10 at the half, but once again, it was Oregon that came out on top 26-22.
As far as individual performances, E.J. Singler really was the catalyst for Oregon’s success. He had 18 points on 7-9 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block. The 7 turnovers aren’t really acceptable, but he certainly wasn’t the only one giving the ball away. Other than that, the scoring was balanced, with both Arsalan Kazemi and Carlos Emory chipping in 11.
The Huskies were led by Andrew Andrews’ 15 points on 5-10 shooting, and he also managed 4 assists, while Wilcox had 14 and both Suggs and Gaddy had 13. N’Diaye was mostly a non-factor with 7 points and 3 boards, and overall, the defense played by the team was mostly terrible. They simply didn’t get back in transition, leading to several crowd-amping dunks and layups, and towards the second half they seemed to give up a bit, allowing several easy interior baskets that proved costly, considering the game was back within 6 several times in the final minutes.
The team certainly seemed engaged today in a way they were not at all against Utah or Oregon State, but the mental toughness still isn’t there. Bad free throw shooting, poor transition defense, sloppy play out of timeouts, and a general lack of basketball IQ. However, it’s important to remember that no one has beaten Oregon on their home court this season.
So, it’ll be important to wait and see how the Huskies do next week at home against Arizona State and Arizona before declaring this season, as far as tourney hopes go, dead, even if the pulse is starting to feel a little faint.