Washington basketball had already won the Pac-12 Conference championship going into the final game at home. The only goal left was to go undefeated at home for the season, but they couldn’t finish the job.
Washington had trouble all night on the offensive side of the ball. They were facing an Oregon Ducks team that can match them on the defensive side. The Huskies offense struggled all night long, with both the Ducks defensive prowess and Washington’s nonsensical shot selection.
Washington’s defense was, as we’ve seen all season, great but it wasn’t enough to beat Oregon. The Ducks were leading the Huskies 24-8 with 3:45 mark left in the first half. Matisse Thybulle made two shots behind the arc and Jaylen Nowell made two free throws up to that point. The Huskies were able to outscore Oregon 10-3 in the last 3:45 of the half to cut the Ducks lead to 27-18 at halftime.
In the first three minutes of the second half, Washington was able to get within three points at 28-25. They pulled within three points a couple more times but were unable to take the lead, ending the game with a final of 55-47.
The Huskies shot 33.3% from the field in the game. Behind the arc the Huskies shot terribly, shooting just 3/20. It looks even worse when Matisse Thybulle made his only two shots behind the arc in the first six minutes of the game.
Oregon was not much better from the field. The Ducks went 21/49 from the field, and 4/ 22 behind the arc. Despite the offensive struggles, Coach Mike Hopkins’ squad maintained their excellent perimeter defense.
Nowell led Washington with 17 points on seven of 15 shooting despite missing everything from three. Noah Dickerson was the only other player who scored in double digits for the Huskies with 14. He went 4/8 from the field and added 16 rebounds as well.
The Oregon Ducks had only two players in the game scoring in double digits as well. Payton Pritchard led the Ducks with 16 points. He had five steals in the game to match that of Huskies defensive magic man Matisse Thybulle. Pritchard’s defense in the game helped spur on the Ducks to keep them ahead.
The other player in double figures for Oregon was Paul White with ten points. He made four of eight from the field along with two free throws. He only played 24 as he fouled out in the second half of the game.
Now coming up next week will be the Pac-12 tournament. Washington basketball team will get a bye in the first round being the number one seed. They will face the winner of No. 8 seed USC and No. 9 Arizona on Thursday.
The NCAA tournament is not a given for the Huskies, so they need to win or at least go deep in the Pac-12 tournament to have a spot. Guards David Crisp and Jaylen Nowell will need to take on leadership roles if the Huskies want to succeed.