Men's Basketball | Ducks subdue Huskies
Seattle Times staff reporter
EUGENE, Ore. -- The Pit was more mellow than mosh, Oregon fans appearing strangely subdued at the sight of the Washington Huskies.
"It was a little different," said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar of a McArthur Court crowd that might have been taken aback by the unusual 5:30 p.m. start time.
Or maybe, as Washington guard Ryan Appleby said, "it was Valentine's Day so they were probably in the mood to share some love."
Unfortunately for Washington fans, so were the Huskies, who never brought the same bite to their game as they had to last Sunday's surprising upset of UCLA. They were easy prey for the host Ducks, who rolled to a 71-58 win in front of a less-than-sellout 8,866 at The Pit.
Oregon did it primarily on the strength of 14 three-pointers, which tied a record against the Huskies that occurred in this same building on Jan. 23, 2003.
"They were just toying with us out there swinging the ball around and they just waited until they got an open shot," said Huskies forward Jon Brockman of the Ducks, who hit 14 of 25 from long range.
Not that Oregon's game plan was a surprise. Oregon made a school-record 18 in a win at California last Saturday and entered the game with 41 more three-pointers than any other conference team.
"We knew they could shoot," said Washington guard Tim Morris. "We just didn't play as solid as we should have."
The relatively placid atmosphere seemed to lull even the Ducks to sleep early as they had four turnovers in the first four minutes and looked out of sync.
But the Huskies couldn't really take advantage, never leading by more than a point. The Ducks finally got going when backup guard Churchill Odia hit two straight three-pointers in a span of 38 seconds. Odia finished with a season-high 12 points.
"Teams like that, that shoot a lot of threes, once they get on a roll they are going to make a lot of threes," Brockman said.
Oregon hit 7 of 12 three-pointers in the first half while Washington was 0 of 7 beyond the arc as Appleby was unable to duplicate his success here of last season, when he had 17 points by halftime. Appleby, who was booed every time he touched the ball, still holding villain status due to his incident with Aaron Brooks two years ago, was 0 for 4 with no points in the first half.
Oregon led 33-27 at halftime, then opened the second half on a 12-2 run keyed by two three-pointers from guard Bryce Taylor to pretty much end the suspense.
"They penetrate and kick so well," Romar said. "We wanted to keep them out of the paint, but we didn't do a very good job. We had a lot of breakdowns on our defensive coverage, and Oregon is a team that will expose you every time. They are just too potent for you to make any mistakes."
After that early second-half run, Oregon never led by fewer than 11.
"I don't think we were dogs," Romar said. "I don't think we ever laid down. But we didn't play with that edge. I didn't see that edge that is required to get a road win."
Romar has echoed similar sentiments too many times this season as Washington is now 13-12 overall and 4-8 in Pac-10 games.
This one was particularly disappointing. Washington believed it matched up well -- evidenced by an 78-70 win over the Ducks in Seattle last month -- and thought the UCLA win might have indicated a turning point in the season.
Instead, the Huskies were again unable to sustain momentum, similar to what happened after earlier wins at Louisiana State and Arizona State. Neither led to a breakthrough.
"That's the sign of an immature team," said Morris.
Added Brockman: "We will have spurts of greatness and good play and then we almost get a little content with what we are doing."
Oregon, meanwhile, won its second in a row to improve to 15-9 and 6-6, with Ducks coach Ernie Kent saying he thinks his team is hitting its traditional late-season stride.
"Defensively, I think we're really coming around," he said after the Ducks held Washington to 24-of-61 shooting (39.3 percent).
Washington heads to Corvallis for a game Saturday at Oregon State. The Beavers likely view a visit by the ninth-place Huskies as their best opportunity to get their first conference win of the season.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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