C.J. Wilcox became the No. 3 scorer in University of Washington basketball history Wednesday night, but failed to reach double figures for the third time in four games in a 78-71 loss to the Oregon Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. Washington fell to 14-13 overall and 6-8 in Pac-12 play, all but eliminating the Huskies from postseason consideration.
Washington led 39-36 at halftime, despite only two points from Wilcox, and still had a chance to win despite a 10-0 run by Oregon to start the second half. But an old-fashioned three-point play by Mike Moser with 1:30 remaining sealed the deal for the Ducks, who defeated the Huskies for the fourth consecutive time in Eugene.
The Huskies fell to 1-7 in conference play and 2-10 overall on the road. Washington will play its final road game Saturday against Oregon State in Corvallis.
“We felt we did the right things to win, but we were just a couple of plays away from getting it done,” said guard Andrew Andrews, who scored 15 points for the Huskies.
Wilcox (1,789) moved past Quincy Pondexter and into third place on Washington’s career scoring list behind Chris Welp and Jon Brockman, but tallied just nine points. He hit 2 of 8 from the floor and 1-for-4 from 3-point range. Wilcox, the conference leader in 3-pointers made, has connected on just 4 of his past 27 3-point shots. Partially as a result, the Huskies have lost five of their last six.
According to head coach Lorenzo Romar, Wilcox was hampered by a bruised tailbone, which almost caused his removal from the game.
“He fell on it,” Romar said. “He could hardly move and I didn’t know if he could continue to go.”
But he did, without much success. Wilcox has produced the three lowest-scoring games of his season in the last two weeks.
“We didn’t make the plays down the stretch on either end of the floor,” added Romar, whose Huskies made 43.4 percent of their shots but only 23.5 percent from 3-point range. “We’re not pleased with what happened. But I thought we made some progress and, to our credit, we didn’t fade down the stretch. We continued to play and had a chance to win.”
The Huskies simply couldn’t stop the Ducks in the second half. Oregon wound up hitting 56.9 percent of its shots — the Ducks made 67 percent of their tries in the second half — and had three players, Moser (20), Joseph Young (18) and Damyean Dotson (17), in double figures.
Perris Blackwell with 17 and Andrews with 15 took up the scoring slack for Washington while Desmond Simmons and Nigel Williams-Goss both had 12.
“Desmond did a good job creating space for himself and Andrew was as dialed in as he has been in a while,” said Romar.
Andrews also contributed seven rebounds, two assists and two steals while Williams-Goss had three rebounds, five assists and one steal.
Although Wilcox only took three shots in the first half and didn’t score until 1:16 remained, the Huskies forged a 39-36 halftime lead after going on a 7-0 run to end the first 20 minutes. Simmons scored 10 points and Blackwell came off the bench to contribute another 10, and Andrews added nine points, six rebounds and three assists in his best half of the season.
Williams-Goss drained a 3-point shot with 22 seconds remaining to provide the Huskies with their halftime margin.
Oregon went on a 10-0 run to start the second half, tallied 15 points in the first 4:15 and maintained a five-to-seven point margin for most of the rest of the game. Williams-Goss scored off a steal to bring Washington to within 73-70 at 2:33, but after Simmons missed a layup, he drew is fifth foul on a drive by Moser, who made the runner and free throw inside of two minutes.