It's not like Oregon didn't get their chances. With less than a minute to go, Stanford was doing their best to keep the Ducks in the game. Missing three of four free throws in the last 15 seconds, the Cardinal could not put the game away.
Oregon though, could not capitalize on their golden opportunities to steal one from Stanford as their last two shots clanked off the rim, first Johnathan Loyd's jumper and then a driving layup from Dominick Artis, allowing the Cardinal to escape with an 82-80 win.
Oregon's inability to defend and rebound reared its ugly head as the Ducks were beaten in every statistical category while allowing Stanford to shoot 52% from the field.
The Cardinal attempted 11 more shots and converted 15 Oregon turnovers into 20 points. The Ducks also gave up 10 second chance points while only getting 6 of their own. In a game this close, it's what cost Oregon the game.
"We're a hell of a lot better than we are right now. We should be better defensively. I'm not going to let them off the hook, I'm not going to let me off the hook." Said Coach Dana Altman
The Ducks looked to be dead in the water as they trailed for the entire second half, but 3 pointers on 4 straight posessions put Oregon back in the game.
"We were catching up, we just didn't get stops," said Altman.
As mentioned, the Ducks had their shots. Trailing by four, they got a big three pointer from Artis to cut the lead to one. A trap in the back court caused a near turnover but as things were going throughout the game, the ball went out against Oregon and Stanford maintained possession going into the final 15 seconds.
Oregon has a three game road stretch which Mike Moser stated was pivotal for the Ducks, "It's going to make or break us. After losing three straight we're kinda desperate right now."
They start their road swing against an Oregon State squad who defeated the Cardinal when they played in Corvallis on Thursday. Oregon needs a win against the Beavers or they could see their season start to spiral out of control.
Oregon does have a week of practice to try and right the ship. They have a lot of work to do.
"We need to go back to some fundamental stuff to be honest. The lapse right now is just defensively," said Moser.
Dana Altman can see where the Ducks need to improve defensively and needs to come up with some answers soon, before the season's narrative changes from "can they defend" to "are they even willing to defend." The positive spin is this: Oregon didn't deserve to be in this game but they are great offensively. If they can learn to defend, they will be a player this year. If not, Oregon will be in trouble.
From the box
- Matthew Knight has an in house DJ now who turns the speakers past 11 and up to 14, I'm not a big fan
- Fans started to shuffle out of the stands with 5 minutes left in the game. At that point, the Ducks trailed by only three
- Best free throw distraction: The larger than life cut out of Dana Altman behind the hoop
- Josh Huestis was awful as he went 0-7 from the field and only had 1 point.
- Waverly Austin was the only Duck who played and did not score. He attempted 1 shot.
- Little things that end up mattering: The refs missed two out of bounds calls which clearly should have gone to Oregon. Stanford turned it to points
- Ducks were 8-12 from the free throw line in the second half.
- The Pit Crew and the Band each had a chant tonight "useless Huestis" and the band went with "I hate trees, cut them down, set them on fire, cause I hate Stanford." There's an ATQer somewhere in the band.