C.J. Wilcox scored 23 points, Andrew Andrews added 17 and the Washington men’s basketball team held on at Alaska Airlines Arena Thursday to secure a 80-76 win against Oregon. The win snapped UW’s two-game losing streak and further pushed into a spiral the Ducks’ (13-5, 1-5 Pac-12) once-promising season.
The Huskies (12-8, 4-3 Pac-12) trailed 35-33 at intermission but shot 69.6 percent (16 of 23) in the second half en route to one of their most efficient offensive performances of the season.
Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd cut UW’s lead to 73-72 with 1:12 remaining when he converted an “and-one” along the baseline. Loyd appeared to push off with his left hand as he drove to the hoop, but officials called UW’s Nigel Williams-Goss for a blocking foul.
With 44 seconds left, Wilcox hit a stand-still three from NBA distance to put the Huskies up four. Oregon’s Elgin Cook missed the ensuing three, sealing the Huskies’ win.
The victory lifted UW to fifth in the Pac-12 standings and kept it undefeated in conference this season at home.
It also showed the Huskies are capable of being a balanced, efficient scoring team. They finished shooting 57.8 percent from the field and for the first time in conference play received significant contributions from their front court of Perris Blackwell and Shawn Kemp Jr.
The Huskies took what was to that point their biggest lead of the night, 57-52, when Wilcox tipped a pass near the Oregon bench, corralled it at half court, then dribbled to the lane before passing over his shoulder to a streaking Kemp Jr.
Blackwell, who finished with 15 points on five of seven shooting and added four rebounds, scored eight points in the first 4:22 of the second half, helping the Huskies take a 44-40 lead. But like the rest of the night, the UW couldn’t sustain the run. Neither team could. The game had 13 ties and nine lead changes.
After the UW spurt, the Ducks marched back with a 7-0 burst, then the Huskies went on a 9-2 run behind back-to-back threes from Wilcox and freshman guard Darin Johnson to take a 53-49 lead.
In the opening two minutes, Oregon jumped to a 7-2 lead behind a pair of field goals from Damyean Dotson and a three from Dominic Artis. The Ducks, who entered losers of four straight, but earlier in the year climbed to No. 10 in the rankings, showed why they featured the Pac-12′s No. 1 scoring offense (87.4 points per game).
However, their defense lagged, and the Huskies responded by holding Oregon scoreless for the next seven minutes and running off 10 straight points. Wilcox capped the UW run with a deep three that helped put behind him last week’s nine-point performance against Stanford in which he shot one of six from behind-the-arc. Thursday he had nine points and two threes by the end of the first half.
The second came with 1:22 left in the first half and tied the game at 33. The Huskies tried to the run clock down on their final possession, but a few seconds remained when Andrews missed a layup.
Ducks guard Amard Richardi dribbled nearly the length of court before throwing a perfect bounce pass to Cook, who converted just before the buzzer, helping the Ducks to a 35-33 halftime lead.
Andrews, meanwhile, continued his steady sophomore campaign — he entered averaging 12.6 points per game — with 12 points through the first 20 minutes, including a tricky euro-step, reverse layup that tied the game at 28 with 3:30 left in the first half.
Both teams shot 45 percent in the back-and-forth first 20 minutes, but the Ducks out-rebounded the Huskies, 19-10, and 32-25 for the game.
Despite the discrepancy, and the pedestrian overall record, the Huskies are 3-0 at home in conference play. They’ll try improve to 11-2 at Alaska Airlines Arena when Oregon State visits Saturday (2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).