The word heartbreaker has been an overused term this season when talking about the Oregon Ducks. After putting together one of the better Defensive games of the season last week at home against USC the Ducks took to the road for a Thursday night matchup against #2 Arizona. They day started out great with a practice held outdoors in 65 degree weather. It came within a few minutes of ending on a good note with an Oregon victory, but missed opportunities, including a series of key free throws and a key ball handling error sealed Oregon’s fate in an 87-85 loss to Arizona. Oregon led 60-55 with just under for minutes to go in the game.
They’re hurting This is their third two-point loss. I just told them we’ve got to be resilient. It hurts having an opportunity and not being able to finish.
Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman on the loss to Arizona
For Oregon three players were in double figures. Jason Calliste paced Oregon with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals. The Ducks were better on the floor hitting 42 percent of their shots, Arizona hit 40 percent. Dana Altman’s team also led in rebounds with a 40-35 advantage.
Arizona’s weapon of choice on the night was Junior Guard Nick Johnson, who had 18 points on the night and hit key free throws in the end that would give the Wildcats the win. Oregon has some work to do as their NCAA Tournament hopes are pretty much gone. With the game vs the Wildcats being the halfway mark of the season the chances for getting on a ‘winning track’ are getting shorter by the week. There is one hope left and really the only option – winning the Pac-12 Tournament would get Oregon to the Big Dance.
The roadtrip continues for Dana Altman and company this week as they now head to Arizona State who beat Oregon State by four 86-82 in overtime Thursday night. The Sundevils are third in the Pac-12 Conference at 6-4, 17-6 overall. The Sundevils know how to win at home in 2013-14. Couple that with their rebounding and Oregon will have their hands full.
Oregon and Arizona State tipoff Saturday at 2pm on Fox Sports 1.