Trailing the Ducks 37-33 at the half, Washington appeared reinvigorated after losing its last two games to previously winless Pac-12 teams, Oregon State and Utah. But 16th-ranked Oregon pulled away in the second half, with leads up to 14 points, before hanging on to an 81-76 victory Saturday in Eugene.
The Ducks improved to 18-2, 7-0 in the Pac-12. The win stretched Oregon’s home-court winning streak to 20 games. The Huskies’ third consecutive conference loss dropped them to 12-8, 4-3.
A bright spot for Washington was freshman Andrew Andrews, a Portland native with numerous family members and friends in the Matt Court stands, who led the Huskies in scoring with 15 points off the bench.
“When I come in I have to be a spark off the bench,” Andrews said.
Oregon’s E.J. Singler led all scorers with 18 points, but also turned the ball over seven times. The Ducks had 23 turnovers. The Ducks dominated Washington in the paint, 44-28.
Ahead 43-40 with 14 minutes remaining, Oregon used three consecutive Washington turnovers to jump out to a 50-40 lead. After the lead ballooned to 14, the Huskies shrunk the deficit 77-73 with 27 seconds remaining. But two Singler free throws followed by a missed Andrews layup put the game on ice.
The Huskies turned the ball over 21 times leading to 37 Oregon transition points.
“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t take better care of the basketball,” said coach Lorenzo Romar.
Four other Huskies finished in double digits besides Andrews: C.J. Wilcox 14, Scott Suggs and Abdul Gaddy with 13 each and Shawn Kemp Jr. 12. Ten of Kemp’s points came in the final six minutes and were a career high for the sophomore.
“Shawn competed. Tonight he came in and did a good job that way,” said Romar. “It was much needed. He helped us.”
Saturday marked the first time since a 75-62 home victory over Cal Poly that the Huskies broke the 70-point barrier.
The output was due in large part to a healthy 52 percent shooting. The Huskies struggled from the free throw line, hitting 14 of 24 attempts.
Said Romar: “We left a lot of stuff out there.”