On the way to its seventh loss in eight games, Washington scored a season-low 52 points. Oregon shot 49 percent. The formula for losing so often is a simple one: can't score, can't defend.
That's the route Washington is on. Of the seven games it has lost in this run, just once has it scored more than 66 points.
Washington had not been swept by Oregon since 1995. It was able to lose to the 23rd-ranked Ducks twice this season in two different ways. In Eugene, Washington committed 21 turnovers. That was the biggest issue there. It made just 12 in Wednesday night's 65-52 loss, yet many were unforced -- straight botched plays by the Huskies.
In addition, C.J. Wilcox and Scott Suggs had putrid shooting nights. They combined to go 4 for 19 (21.1 percent) from the field. Wilcox missed his first six shots. He’s shooting 30.2 percent over the last five games and was 3 for 13 against Oregon.
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Essentially, Washington's sharpshooting wings either can't shake free for multiple reasons -- not cutting hard enough, picks are mediocre and defenses clutching and grabbing them -- or are missing open looks.
"I feel like teams take us out when they’re holding our wings, Scott and C.J., so everything isn’t as crisp," Abdul Gaddy said. "That’s on us. We need to make sure that we do the little things, like screen and cut hard. C.J. and Scott especially because they’re our best shooters and scorers. If they can get away from their defender, that’s really going to help our flow. Teams are trying to take those two away and make the rest of us make plays, and it can be a rhythm-breaker."
The Huskies led once on Wednesday, which was one more time than they led against USC. Three times this season Washington has lost and never led.
"I think our team is very, very disappointed in the situation, and in themselves," Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said. "We’re all disappointed, but I don’t think our team is ready to quit at all. I think this team is still going to stay strong. In a situation like this, in a lot of cases, teams begin to think about the spring and next year—everything except coming back and still being a team. I’ve seen that happen with a couple of teams but I don’t think this team will do that. I think this team will come back Saturday and play a strong game."
Romar also went to what has become a broken-record quote for him this season: "I can’t say that the offense is the problem; the offense is designed to open up the best shots possible. I think that if you go back and look, we had some pretty good shots."
It's that last part we've heard over and over, and he's right in many cases. Wilcox has received many clean looks during his recent slump. Both he and Romar have said the pain in Wilcox's left foot has not influenced his shooting. Though, Wilcox is also practicing less.
The Huskies have a mere six games remaining in conference play. Oregon State, which beat Washington State 67-66, comes to Hec Ed on Saturday. Washington vows it will be ready.
"We just didn’t get it done—that’s the main thing," Gaddy said. "Now we have to turn it around. I know it’s cliché, I know we keep saying it, but that’s what it is."
Some quick notes and thoughts:
> Gaddy had an excellent game. He tied career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (7). He added five assists and turned the ball over just twice. He also put both Oregon point guards, Johnathan Loyd and Willie Moore, into foul first-half trouble. He played extremely hard and kept Washington around. After talking the talk at a team meeting Tuesday, he walked the walk Wednesday.
> In the last five games, Andrew Andrews has scored 33 points. He scored 20 points against Arizona State. He's scored 13 points in the other four games. He was 1 for 8 on Wednesday night.
> Desmond Simmons played with good energy and duked it out with Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi. Simmons scored seven points, had four reboundss and two assists in 21 minutes. Three of his rebounds were offensive, helping the Huskies outrebounded Oregon 37-32.
> Washington shot 35 percent. It's the third-lowest shooting percentage of the season.
> Oregon was just 4 for 13 from behind the 3-point line, otherwise this would have been a blowout.
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