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Basketball: UO Ducks vs. UW Huskies preview

The Ducks look to end their four-game losing streak on Thursday against the UW Huskies.

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks (12-4, 1-4) continue their three-game road trip at the Alaska Airlines Arena to face the UW Huskies (11-8, 3-3) on Thursday, January 23 at 8 p.m. PT. After losing their fourth straight game in Corvallis on Sunday, it appears that the Ducks will play without their tallest player for a second consecutive game.

There has been a void in Oregon’s center position since the start of the season and with Waverly Austin, their 6-foot-11 center, possibly out for a second game the Ducks will come up short (literally) compared to the Huskies. The Huskies aren’t much taller than the Ducks, with their tallest contributor Perris Blackwell standing at 6’9"; however without Austin, the Ducks are left without a backup.

With Austin out the choices for a center are limited to 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-8 forwards. Austin isn’t a large influence on the court; however, without their tallest player the Ducks’ weak defense is even weaker.

After the Civil War game, it was evident that Oregon’s six-day break to work on their defense wasn’t as successful as expected. However, the Ducks did display their most effective defense of their conference games. Since the Civil War game Oregon has had a couple days off to work on their defensive strategies.

Lucky for the Ducks, the Huskies’ offense ranks second to last in the conference. They average 44.2 percent from the field while the Ducks shoot an average of 48.4 percent.

They look to end their four-game losing streak on Thursday. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 1.