E.J. Singler (USA TODAY Sports)
SEATTLE - Paced by five scorers in double figures, the No. 23 Oregon Ducks defeated Washington 65-52 Wednesday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. With their 81-76 defeat to the Ducks in Eugene earlier in the year, it's the first time UO has swept the Huskies in a season since 1995 and it's Washington's seventh loss in their last eight games.
“It’s not an easy place for a lot of people to get the win," Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman said after the game. "It was a good night for us. I thought defensively, we really played hard and then the nine turnovers those were the two key stats – holding them to 35 percent shooting and only turning the ball over nine times.”
It's not the first time Washington opponents have held the Huskies in check offensively. UW has only shot better than 50 percent three times since the start of conference play, and it's the fourth time that the Huskies have taken double-digits three-point attempts and shot less than 20 percent from behind the arc.
"I can't remember that," Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said when asked about UW's prolonged shooting slump. "Even our team our first year when we won 11 games, we still scored points."
Damyean Dotson scored 13, and Johnathan Loyd, Arsalan Kazemi, and E.J. Singler all scored 11 points for the Ducks (20-5, 9-3), while Carlos Emery added 10. Abdul Gaddy was the only Husky in double-figures, tying his career high with 17 points, while Aziz N'diaye racked up 11 rebounds for Washington (13-12, 5-7) to go with his 7 points.
"We just didn't get it done," Gaddy said post-game. "It's tough. We just have to turn it around. I know it's cliche and we keep saying it, but that's what it is. I think we played hard for the most part, but at times we make too many mistakes. We let teams make runs at certain times. We have to get over the hump."
Washington's leading scorer, C.J. Wilcox scored nine points, but it was below his season average for the fifth straight game. During the five-game stretch he has shot 30 percent from the floor (19-63) and 17 percent from three (4-24). This is compared to his career marks (44 percent from the field and 40 percent from three).
"You can start pressing when the ball isn't going in and for the first time and I thought a couple of times tonight he may have shot the ball with not great confidence," Romar said of Wilcox and his shooting woes. "But he's been such a good shooter for such a long time…I don't know. I say it every game; I just feel like the next shot he shoots is going to go in. I just feel that way."
Washington started the game with good energy, especially on the defensive end. Desmond Simmons came off the bench and immediate made his presence felt by forcing turnovers and keeping the ball alive offensively for his teammates. But according to Romar the Huskies are playing more half-court offense than ever because they can't force their opponents to match their tempo and get them off their game.
"If you look at this team, there's not many 10-0 runs, 8-0 runs - spurts - that we are accustomed to getting," he said. "That comes from being able to impose your will defensively and we haven't had many of those."
Oregon tried all sorts of strategy for putting Washington off their game - they picked up full-court and applied a trap on makes, they went zone when it was clear the Huskies couldn't make a shot, and they didn't turn the ball over despite a lot of pressure man-on-man defense by UW.
"Tonight I didn't think we were really deficient in areas where they were glaring; we just didn't make shots," said Romar.
"That's why I say it's more of a mental thing. We have to believe it again. Seven out of eight losses…there can be some doubt there. We have to remove the doubt.
"Somehow when we step out on that floor against Oregon State we have to believe we're capable. We have to do that. We have to go in with the mindset that this is on us. We have to compete, we have to concentrate, we have to focus…we have to play Husky Basketball. We can change this. We have to get better. In the next month, somehow we have to get better."
Points: Gaddy 17, Wilcox 9, N'Diaye 7, Simmons 7, Kemp 6, Suggs 4, Andrews 2
Rebounds: N'Diaye 11, Gaddy 7, Andrews 7, Kemp 4, Simmons 4, Suggs 2, Wilcox 1, TEAM 1
Assists: Gaddy 5, Wilcox 2, Andrews 2
Steals: N'Diaye 1, Gaddy 1, Wilcox 1, Simmons 1
Blocks: N'Diaye 2, Wilcox 1