The last time the Huskies and Ducks squared off was on December 12th in Seattle when Oregon escaped with a 74-71 victory. The latest installment of the rivalry wasn’t as close as the Huskies fell 86-74 in Eugene on Saturday afternoon. Washington now sits at 3-14 (2-10) on the year.
The clash between the pacific northwesterners began with an explosive display of offense as both teams were scoring early and often. At the 14:40 mark in the first half, it was the Huskies who held a 15-14 lead. The Ducks were sitting in a zone and daring the Dawgs to shoot and UW stepped up to the call by hitting four of their first five three-pointers which prompted the Ducks to switch back to their traditional man-to-man defense.
Sophomore guard Marcus Tsohonis was busy early with 7 quick points after scoring 22 in their prior game which was a loss to Oregon State. His early scoring contributions had UW sitting with an 18-17 advantage.
The game began to shift when Oregon subbed in Franck Kepnang, a 6’11 freshman from Cameroon. His impact was immediate as he scored six points and sent away two layups within the first couple minutes that he was on the floor.
The Ducks found their rhythm a bit and jumped out to a 29-18 lead before junior guard Jamal Bey drilled a three-pointer to trim into the lead. After his basket, both teams suddenly were struggling to generate points. At one point, Washington had one make on their last eight attempts while the Ducks hadn’t scored from the field for 5:21.
Both teams eventually began to score the ball again and with 39 seconds left in the half, the Ducks jumped out to a 10 point lead before Tsohonis cut it down to 39-31. The half ended with a three-pointer from Oregon guard Eugene Omoruyi, who had 25 points on the night, as he pushed the UW deficit out to 42-31.
The Dawgs shot 11-24 from the field, 4-9 from beyond the arc, and 5-6 from the charity stripe but the scoring drought is what stood out most. While both teams went cold, it hurt the Huskies more because Oregon already was out in front. If UW was able to find the bottom of the net then maybe they would have entered the locker room with a lead. Instead, they trailed and it felt like they could be in for a long second half.
A long second half it was.
After four minutes of watching the second half, it became clear that the Ducks were going to win this one comfortably. They opened up the half on a 12-5 run, senior forward Hameir Wright had picked up his fourth foul and the Oregon lead was now 54-36.
Throughout a large portion of the second half, the arch-rivals exchanged baskets as neither team went on a run to trim or push the lead until the 4:40 mark when UW cut the lead to 76-63 after a three from senior guard Quade Green. Oregon turned the ball over on the following possession which forced a Duck timeout. After the break-in action, Green drove, missed, got his rebound, and hit from mid-range and now it was UW Head Coach Mike Hopkins who called a timeout.
Oregon came out and put the game on ice as they scored four straight points and forced Bey to pick up a charge which led to a technical foul from Hopkins. The Huskies spark was no more and the Ducks controlled the final two minutes until the buzzer sounded which made the 86-74 loss official for Washington.
Green was the Huskies biggest performers as he scored nine straight points down the stretch to give UW a chance to rally, he scored 23 points on 7-14 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
UW will be back in action on Thursday, February 11th on the Pac-12 Network against the USC Trojans barring any COVID-19 incidents.