David Crisp sat at the postgame interview table, answered a few questions and fumed silently until the session ended.
When he stood up, the Washington Huskies sophomore guard grabbed the stat sheet handed to each player who speaks with reporters after the game. On his way out of the room, Crisp crumpled the paper in his hand and threw it in the trash. And that’s probably where it belonged.
It was No. 15 Oregon 83, beleaguered Washington 61 on Wednesday night at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, and if you played for the Huskies, you wouldn’t want to look at those numbers, either.
The most galling for Washington — now 7-7 overall and 0-2 to start Pac-12 play — was likely the line next to the name of Oregon guard Tyler Dorsey, who scored a game-high 28 points and made a career-best eight 3-pointers. He made five of those in the second half, two during the 9-0 run that increased Oregon’s lead from eight to 17.
The Huskies had cut Oregon’s lead to 42-39 in the opening minutes of the second half, then chipped the deficit back to eight points after falling behind by 12. But Dorsey couldn’t miss, the Huskies couldn’t guard him and they didn’t make enough shots of their own — just 41.4 percent shooting from the field against Oregon’s matchup zone defense — to make this game competitive in the final eight or so minutes.
So, yes. Crisp was angry. He probably wasn’t alone.
“His first two shots were wide open. You give anybody two wide open shots, and they hit them, for the rest of the game, they’re going to have their rhythm,” said Crisp, who scored 14 points in 37 minutes. “We did a terrible job on that. There’s no way we should let anybody come in and hit eight 3s on us.”
Just like there’s no way the Huskies should have let Washington State beat them in their Pac-12 opener. Just like there’s no way they should have lost to Yale in their season opener. Just like there’s no way a team with one of the nation’s best players — freshman guard Markelle Fultz, who led UW with 22 points and was again impressive — should be this undisciplined and this overmatched at home against a conference opponent.
“There were a couple of possessions — things that we talk about, basics that we go over — that we had breakdowns on,” UW coach Lorenzo Romar said.
Romar, ever the optimist, has been predicting tangible progress for weeks now. He admitted Wednesday that it isn’t coming at the pace it should.
“I can’t put my finger on it,” Romar said. “But I know we’ve taken a step back that way. We’ve got to regroup. We definitely have to regroup.”
This seemed for about 28 minutes as if it would be a more inspired effort than the Huskies’ last, when they collapsed late and lost to WSU. UW trailed Oregon by nine points at halftime, but began the second half with a 6-0 run and trailed by only three points.
Then Oregon flexed, scoring seven points in a minute — freshman guard Payton Pritchard made a 3-pointer and a jumper — to push the lead to double-digits again. Jordan Bell made it a 12-point lead with a pair of dunks.
Still, the Huskies had a chance, trailing 55-47 after a pair of Fultz free throws with 11:55 to play.
Then Dorsey made a 3-pointer. Then Rainier Beach alumnus Keith Smith made a 3-pointer. Then Dorsey made another 3-pointer. Oregon’s lead was 17, it eventually swelled to 25, and the Huskies — “fragile,” as Romar described them — rolled over.
“We’re playing good basketball, sound basketball, then the next thing you know, the team goes on a run,” Romar said, “and it’s hard for us to collect ourselves right now and fight through it.”
Oregon (14-2, 3-0 Pac-12) didn’t even need its stars to inflict this damage. Dillon Brooks, the team’s leading scorer, played 18 minutes due to foul trouble and scored eight points. Chris Boucher, the team’s second-leading scorer, struggled with fouls and played 13 minutes. Dorsey and Bell were Oregon’s only double-figure scorers.
And … it did not matter. Oregon shot 51.7 percent from the field and made 14 of 26 from 3-point range, the Huskies’ offense struggled to produce decent looks at the hoop and this looked very much like an NCAA Tournament team having an off night while still handling a lesser opponent.
“Just lack of focus on the defensive end,” Fultz said. “Just not finding shooters in transition, little things like that, not getting back. It was our own mistakes that hurt us tonight.”
And every night, it seems.
Game in review
Player of the game: Tyler Dorsey seemingly couldn’t miss from long range. Oregon’s sophomore guard made a career-best eight 3-pointers (on 12 attempts), leading all scorers with 28 points. He had 17 of those in the second half to help turn a close game into a blowout.
Play of the game: Not one play, but three of them: after a pair of Markelle Fultz free throws cut Oregon’s lead to eight points midway through the second half, the Ducks made 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions — two of them by Dorsey — to open up a 64-47 lead with 9:27 to play. UW had no chance after that.
Stat of the game: The Ducks entered this game shooting 32.4 percent from 3-point range, but made 14 of 26 on Wednesday night — a 53.8 percent clip.
Quotable: “You let a guy like Tyler Dorsey study the rim a couple of times without anybody contesting his shot, he’s going to find his rhythm, and now he’s going to make everything. And I believe that’s what happened.” — UW coach Lorenzo Romar
What it means: This game was competitive for roughly 28 minutes, which obviously isn’t good enough. But the Huskies simply are not good enough to compete with a team of Oregon’s caliber for an entire game. They play OK in spurts, but their defense falters, they give up big runs and they don’t respond. That happened again Wednesday. As Romar might say, it is becoming a pattern.
Up next: Washington vs. Oregon State, noon Saturday, Pac-12 Network.
Christian Caple: firstname.lastname@example.org