CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Streak.
It began in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 4, but after Washington’s 71-62 loss to then-No. 1 Arizona, the Huskies had no idea they’d compile a string of road defeats that would follow them all over the West Coast.
From the Bay Area to Pullman. From Salt Lake City to Boulder, Colo. And after the 78-71 setback Wednesday at Oregon, The Streak still lives.
The consecutive road defeats has climbed to seven, which ties the longest road losing streak since coach Lorenzo Romar took over at Washington 12 years ago.
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During his first season in 2002-03, the Huskies lost seven in a row on the road from Jan. 9 to March 1. That team mustered a 1-8 road record in the conference.
If Washington (14-13, 6-7) is unable to break its current seven-game road losing streak at 1 p.m. Saturday at Oregon State (14-11, 6-7), then it will match the 2002-03 team for the fewest number of league road victories under Romar.
“We have one to go and then we’re playing all neutral-site games after that,” Romar said.
The next opportunity is at Gill Coliseum where Oregon State is 11-2 this season. The Beavers still are smarting from an 87-81 defeat against Washington on Jan. 25 in which the Huskies erased a 12-point second-half deficit in Seattle.
That victory improved Washington to 13-8 at the time, and third in the conference standings at 5-3. Hopes for an NCAA tournament spot were realistic, and it wasn’t far-fetched to imagine a late run for the Pac-12 regular-season title.
Since that Oregon State victory, the Huskies are 1-5 and they’re now tied for eighth in the Pac-12.
Most of their troubles have been away from home, and UW players are puzzled about why they’ve struggled so much on the road.
“We just come up a couple of plays short of winning,” sophomore guard Andrew Andrews said.
Senior forward Perris Blackwell added: “I don’t think it’s anything physical. I think it’s a will to compete more. Just kind of fight more and get stops. Just got to understand that every game is so important. We only have four left.”
In a season filled with disappointments, there have been a few bright spots.
Senior guard C.J. Wilcox has climbed to third place on Washington’s career scoring list and is just 14 points behind second-place Jon Brockman.
However, Wilcox bruised his tailbone Wednesday, and his status is uncertain.
He’s also mired in a scoring slump. In three of the past four games, he’s been held to 10 points or fewer. During the stretch, he’s 8 for 44 (18.2 percent) from the field and 4 for 27 (14.8 percent) on three-pointers.
“There’s opportunities there,” Romar said. “He’s such a team guy that he doesn’t want to force it.”
• In the past 10 games, Washington is 3-7, which ties for the fourth-worst 10-game stretch under Romar. The Huskies were 2-8 on three different occasions (2002-03, ’03-04 and ’12-13) and they posted a 3-7 record during a stretch in ’07-08.
• Former UW great Brandon Roy is among a class of 12 inductees who will enter the Pac-12 Hall of Honor on March 14. The ceremony will take place before the semifinal games at the men’s Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.