GAME NOTES: The reeling Oregon Ducks will attempt to stop a four-game skid on Thursday night, as they visit the Washington Huskies in a Pac-12 Conference battle at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Since notching victories in their first 13 games this season, the Ducks have fallen quite a bit, dropping to 13-4 after a 1-4 start in league play. Oregon, which ranked as high as No. 10 in the national polls, is currently unranked and out to improve upon its 2-2 road record. It will get another chance this Sunday at Washington State.
The Huskies have also been struggling of late, with losses in back-to-back games and three of the last five overall. Washington is 11-8 on the campaign, which includes a 9-2 mark at home and an even 3-3 ledger against league foes. It will host Oregon State next.
Oregon eliminated Washington from the Pac-12 Tournament last season by posting an 80-77 victory. The win came after the Ducks swept the regular-season series. However, Washington has won three of the previous four matchups and leads the all-time series by a 187-108 count.
The Ducks are coming off an 80-72 setback against in-state rival Oregon State. In the loss, Oregon connected on just 37.9 percent of its shots from the field, while being outscored from beyond the arc (21-12) and at the free-throw line (27-18). Jason Calliste scored 17 points off the bench, while no starter finished in double figures.
The effort put forth by Oregon's starters was a discouraging one, as the quintet combined to knock down only 7-of-35 shots from the floor. Joseph Young (18 ppg), who is fifth in the conference in scoring, tied a season-low with five points on 2-of-9 shooting, while Mike Moser (14.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg) tallied eight points by connecting on only 3-of-15 attempts from the field. Calliste (11.2 ppg) is the fourth member of the team averaging in double figures, while Damyean Dotson (11.2 ppg) is another starter who under-performed against the Beavers.
Washington lost to Stanford, 79-67, last time out, as the Huskies allowed the Cardinal to shoot 54.2 percent from the floor, while being outscored 24-6 at free-throw line. Nigel Williams-Goss tallied 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the losing effort.
Just as Young struggled for Oregon, Washington's leading scorer, C.J. Wilcox (19.7 ppg), had a tough outing against Stanford. Wilcox connected on only 4- of-13 shots from the field and finished with nine points. It was the first time this season he had failed to score in double figures. Andrew Andrews (12.6 ppg) and Williams-Goss (12.3 ppg, 4.2 apg) serve as the next scoring options, although Andrews is only shooting 37.3 percent from the field. Perris Blackwell (10.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) performs well from his spot in the frontcourt.
Washington has not been the most consistent team this season. However, the Huskies have shown resiliency, especially at home. Until Oregon can prove it has shaken off its current funk, it is difficult to envision the team picking up a win on the road.
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