We weren't ready for it to end.
That we can say that about Duck basketball speaks volumes to the success of the season, and how much this program has improved over the last two years. But that doesn't make this loss any less painful, particularly because it was so avoidable.
It was a really up and down game, as you would expect from these two teams. Oregon's first half scoring wasn't done by the usual suspects, instead the frontcourt stole the show, especially Tony Woods, who continues to blossom on offense, scoring Oregon's first eight points and 15 overall. EJ Singler and Olu Ashaolu were also part of the early offense.
However, as much success as Oregon's frontcourt was having, they couldn't pull away, because Washington's backcourt was just torching the Ducks. Oregon's early "defense" was marked by two recurring issues: completely losing Terrance Ross in the zone, and him subsequently draining wide open jumpers, and Tony Wroten getting in the paint at will to make things happen. What wasn't happening was any scoring by the Oregon guards, as Devoe Joseph and Garrett Sim were held to three points on the half. However, Oregon was able to take advantage at the free throw line to build a four point lead.
The second half was largely the same thing. Joseph and Sim never got on track, shooting a combined 7-24. Olu and EJ were able to carry the Ducks for about ten minutes, but they ran out of gas, and the entire team just stopped being aggressive. Meanwhile, the defensive end was a complete nigthmare, with Wroten still getting into the lane at will, with Wilcox and Ross nailing jumpers, aided by a foul call on nearly every play. Washington was well into the double bonus before Oregon was anywhere near the bonus. The officiating was at times very questionable, but the bottom line is that the Ducks stopped being agressive, while Washington continued to gain confidence. Oregon hit just enough shots to keep them within striking distance, but never enough to make you think they were going to pull it out.
Despite the disappointment, it was a fun season. I'm sad we won't see Devoe, Olu, Tyrone, Garrett, or JJ out there next year, but look forward to the continued development of this team over the next year. Altman has this group on the right track--back to back 20 win season is something we had no right to expect when he took over this club.