Oregon Basketball: Ducks Fall In Another Gritty Effort vs Washington Huskies

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 17: Payton Pritchard
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 17: Payton Pritchard /

Oregon Basketball kept pace with the top team in the Pac-12 but came up short of the win vs Washington 61-56.

Head Coach Dana Altman did not know which Oregon team would show up after facing the Arizona schools. What ended up happening was a gritty effort that came up just short against the best team in the Pac-12 in Washington.

Oregon won the opening tip and Francis Okoro scored the first two points hitting a jump shot. The Oregon Ducks would need to set the pace early. Okoro would exit just minutes into the game and head to the locker room with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Washington took advantage scoring back to back three-pointers to take a 6-2 lead.

Washington brought a swarming defense to Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon struggled since the first basket to open the game. The Ducks were held scoreless for over eight minutes as the Huskies built their lead to 13-2 with just under 12 minutes left in the first half.

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Louis King ended the Oregon scoring drought after six turnovers. The Huskies opened the game on a 17-2 run. The Ducks shuffled their lineup and limited baskets over the final minutes of the first half working to get back into the game. Washington was held without a field goal for over six minutes, hitting just one of two free throws with a 19-12 lead and just over four minutes left in the first half.

It was a rough first half, but the Ducks weathered the storm. Shots came at a premium. The Ducks were just 7 for 19 from the floor and were down 27-19 heading into the half. Paul White, Victor Bailey Jr., and Payton Pritchard were scoreless in the first half for Oregon.

Oregon opened the second half scoring back to back baskets before Washington came back pushing the lead back to double digits. The Ducks would not go away. A handful of mistakes including several turnovers by Washington put the game within six points with just over 10 minutes left in the second half.

With just over five minutes to go in the game, Oregon found a 7-0 run to pull within two points. Payton Pritchard hit a three point shot to take the lead with just over four minutes left. It was Oregon 52, Washington 51.

Oregon built a lead, but Washington tied it at 56 with just over a minute left in regulation.

With the game tied, the Ducks took a timeout with 19 second remaining and had possession. In the end it was a turnover that ended the game for Oregon as a more experienced Washington team earned the gritty win 61-56. Payton Pritchard had big points in the second half, but also a big foul in the final seconds setting up Washington free throws that ultimately were the difference.

Oregon will meet Washington State on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 5 pm Pacific Time on Pac-12 Network