Huskies shoot just 27.8 percent from field and miss 14 three-pointers as their four-game winning streak ends in brutal fashion.
EUGENE, Ore. – Nothing worked. At least not offensively.
Jaylen Nowell fired up an air ball three-pointer – or maybe it was a really bad pass into the post – that barely grazed the bottom of the net and landed harmlessly on the baseline.
Matisse Thybulle’s short jumpers rolled around and off the rim while David Crisp – perhaps fittingly – missed an open dunk on the final play.
And Dominic Green, who delivered a dramatic win over No. 9 Arizona with a last-second shot in the previous outing, could hardly get off a shot against smothering defense.
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The Washington men’s basketball team slogged through one its worst offensive performances in decades during Thursday’s 65-40 defeat against Oregon in front of 9,938 at Matthew Knight Arena, which snapped UW’s four-game winning streak.
“I felt today it came down to Oregon played like it was life or death and you got to match that,” Hopkins said. “You got to fight for that, especially when you’re on the road.
“One of the keys when you’re on the road is you got to keep scoring. And we just couldn’t score enough points tonight. I thought we got the ball in areas that we needed, but we just didn’t have a good flow tonight.”
The Huskies were historically bad.
They finished with the seventh-fewest points since 1950-51, which began the modern era of UW basketball. The school record for scoring futility is 37, set in 1970 in a 37-36 win over WSU. It was the Huskies fewest points in a game since 1991.
“Sometimes you have a game where the ball just doesn’t go in the basket,” said Noah Dickerson, who led the Huskies (17-7, 7-4 Pac-12) with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Oregon was intent on stopping the junior forward, who tallied 25 and 21 points in his previous two outings.
“We wanted to make it hard on him,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said. “He was our biggest concern.”
Dickerson, who missed two days of practice this week to attend the funeral of his grandfather, was still effective while making 5 of 9 from the field and 4 of 5 free throws.
However, no other UW player scored in double figures on a night when the Huskies shot a season-low 27.8 percent from the floor, including 3 of 17 on three-pointers.
“The biggest reason they didn’t shoot a good percent today was because of Kenny (Wooten),” said Altman, referring to the freshman forward who tied an Oregon record with seven blocks. “He was special tonight. Not only his blocks, but he had them thinking the whole time with his activity.”
Wooten, the Pac-12 blocks leader with 70, showed why he’s pushing Thybulle, the league’s steals leader with 73, for the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Excluding Dickerson, UW starters collectively shot 7 of 35 from the floor and combined for just 16 points. Nowell made 4 of 15 shots, while Crisp was 2 of 10, Thybulle 1 of 7 and Sam Timmins 0 for 2.
The Ducks (16-8, 6-5) were nearly equally inept offensively and held to 14 points fewer than their season average. However, Oregon received enough scoring from freshman forward Tony Brown Jr. (21), sophomore guard Payton Pritchard (12) and Wooten (12) to rebound from a 35-point loss in their previous outing.
“I actually thought we played pretty good defense,” Dickerson said. “We held them to 65 points.”
The Huskies have produced miserable offensive performances before. They connected on 2 of 27 three-pointers and shot 27.9 percent during a 74-53 loss at UCLA.
And they sank just 2 of 18 three-pointers in a 70-62 defeat at Utah.
This time Oregon harassed the Huskies with its 2-3 zone and forced 16 turnovers – the most for UW in the past seven games. Aside from Dickerson, no UW player got into any sort of an offensive rhythm.
“They did a good job of taking me out,” Dickerson said. “Hats off to Oregon. They did a really good job with their game plan.”
Oregon began the game connecting on its first three 3-pointers against a UW team that entered Thursday allowing opponents the lowest perimeter shooting percentage in the Pac-12.
The Huskies then turned off the spigot from downtown and held the Ducks scoreless for nearly five minutes while erasing a 16-10 deficit and surging ahead 19-16.
Brown answered with a personal 8-0 run to put Oregon back on top 24-19. The Ducks tacked on two more baskets before backup guard Carlos Johnson, who hadn’t played extended minutes in the previous seven games, capped the first-half scoring with a short jumper.
Oregon went into the break ahead 28-21.
It was the fewest points in the first half by the Huskies, eclipsing the previous season low of 24 at Utah three weeks ago.
Washington converted just 8 of 26 field goals (30.8 percent) before the break, which was also their fewest in the first half this season.
The Huskies managed to keep the game close because they held the Ducks to 11-of-27 shooting (40.7) before halftime.
Washington quickly fell into a double-digit deficit at the start of the second half and never got any closer in the final 16 minutes as the Ducks punctuated the win with several crowd-pleasing dunks from Wooten.
The defeat extended the Huskies’ losing streak to five in a row against the Ducks. UW is winless on its past seven trips to Eugene, Ore.
“You’ve got to have a short-term memory,” Hopkins said. “You lose by one or you lose by 30, it’s all losing. What you got to do is learn from it, and what I told them is always move forward.”
Washington plays Oregon State at Gill Coliseum on Saturday.