C.J. Wilcox (USA TODAY Sports)
SEATTLE - C.J. Wilcox thinks they are all going to go in, and for at least one night he was pretty close to right on. The senior from Utah was 5-6 from three, including a dagger from NBA range with 44 seconds left to lift Washington to an 80-76 win over Oregon Thursday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
"That shot killed them, I think," UW guard Andrew Andrews said of Wilcox's three from the top of the key over the outstretched arms of Oregon defender Johnathan Loyd. Wilcox led the Huskies (12-8, 4-3) with 23 points. Andrews chipped in 17 while Perris Blackwell added 15. "When he made it everyone on their team just put their head down from the bench. It just changed the entire momentum."
"I really didn't know what to expect, what they were going to guard," Wilcox said of the play that pushed the Huskies to the win. "It just happened that (Loyd) was the one that was guarding me. He had his hands down, so I was able to get a good look."
Joseph Young was Oregon's leading scorer with 18 points, 11 coming after intermission. Jason Calliste and Richard Amardi scored 11 apiece for the Ducks (13-5, 1-5)
It was Blackwell that helped got the Huskies on track after they struggled to break down Oregon's half-court defense the first 20 minutes. Wilcox fed the senior center for a layin, the first of three made baskets in the first 150 seconds of the second half.
"We were standing around a lot because we didn't know what they were in, but the second half we just attacked it regardless of what they were in - and that was the difference," Wilcox said.
After the game was tied at 47 with 13 minutes left in the game, Wilcox took over. He fed Darin Johnson for a made three, and and made one of his own.
"C.J. Wilcox hit some big shots," UO Head Coach Dana Altman said. "We made mistakes a couple of times on screens and he made us pay every time. And then he made the big shot late. He was the difference in the game, he was the best player on the floor, and he made us pay."
The Huskies were able to stretch their lead out to as many as seven after two Andrews free throws with 2:59 left in the game, but after getting in the bonus with 13 minutes left, Washington only went 9-16 from the stripe from that point on, making it difficult to close out the Ducks.
"In the second half we did a better job of taking care of the basketball and boxing out," UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said. "It may have made the difference in the game and helped us overcome a poor free-throw shooting spell toward the end of that game."
After Wilcox's heroics, Washington still had to hang on and make enough free throws to see the game out. Andrews' make with 5.2 seconds remaining guaranteed Oregon couldn't come back with a last-second three-point shot.
"It sealed the deal," Andrews said of his free throw. "Hopefully you should win the game. It wasn't too big, but (Wilcox's) three was probably the play of the game."
"It’s tough," Altman said post-game about the Ducks' current five-game losing skid. "They’re hurting, we’re hurting. It’s five in a row. There’s no sense in denying it, it’s tough. It’s tough to fight back on the road, but that’s what we’re going to have to do. I thought we competed tonight – we beat them on the boards, we did a lot of good things. We just didn’t finish enough plays. They’re down and it’s tough to stay together, but we’re pulling together and we’re going to be fine.
Points: Wilcox 23, Andrews 17, Blackwell 15, Williams-Goss 7, Anderson 7, Johnson 7, Kemp 4
Rebounds: Simmons 5, Blackwell 4, Andrews 4, Wilcox 3, Johnson 3, Anderson 2, TEAM 2, Williams-Goss 1, Kemp 1
Assists: Andrews 6, Williams-Goss 4, Anderson 3, Wilcox 3, Blackwell 1
Steals: Wilcox 3, Anderson 1, Johnson 1, Simmons 1
Blocks: Wilcox 3
Lorenzo Romar post-game video/quotes - HERE
Andrew Andrews, C.J. Wilcox, Perris Blackwell post-game video/quotes - HERE
Dana Altman post-game quotes - HERE