After a hot start in the first half, the Oregon Ducks sputtered in the second half, falling to the Washington Huskies 85-77 on Sunday night in Seattle. The Ducks held a double digit lead going into the half, but Washington opened the second half with a 20-8 run, forcing Oregon to play catchup the rest of the way.
Joe Young had a rough night for the ducks with eight points on just 3-of-12 shooting. Dillion Brooks led the scoring with 16 points while Dwayne Benjamin came off the bench to add 15 points.
For the Huskies, Andrew Andrews and Nigel Williams-Goss led the way. Andrews hit 8-of-15 shots for 21 points while Williams-Goss hit 4-of-6 shots from beyond the arc on his way to a 20-point night. Donovan Dorsey came off the bench for 13 points.
The game got off to a streaky start for both sides. After a thunderous dunk from Robert Upshaw gave Washington an early 14-6 lead, the Ducks rattled off three straight baskets from beyond the arc, including two from Dwayne Benjamin. Oregon followed up their 3-pointers with three straight Dunks to claim the lead, including this one from Jordan Bell after a nice assist from Joe Young.
The dunks were part of a 23-2 run which gave Oregon a double digit lead midway through the first half. During that run, Benjamin stayed hot from the perimeter, hitting his third 3-pointer of the half. Joe Young followed up with another 3-pointer as Oregon led by 13 all of a sudden thanks to a red-hot start.
For your random fun fact of the game, we learned that one of the referees from the game would be the head referee at Super Bowl XLIX in two weeks. Yes, a Pac-12 ref will be the man in charge at the biggest football game in the world. God help us all.
The 3-pointers kept on coming for the Ducks as Jalil Abdul-Bassit sank Oregon's sixth consecutive 3-pointer after missing their first four from beyond the arc.
Dwayne Benjamin capped off a big first half with a thunderous dunk to finish the half with a team-leading 13 points off the bench, including shooting 75 percent from beyond the arc.
Washington came out of the gates hot on a 9-2 run to cut Oregon's lead from 10 points down to just three in the span of just over three minutes. Nigel Williams-Goss provided a spark of offense for the Huskies with 10 points in just over six minutes as Washington went off on a 20-8 run to reclaim the lead. The Huskies were getting wide open looks from beyond the arc and were making Oregon pay for leaving them so open.
Midway through the half, Upshaw looked to get banged up in the paint, clutching his hand while grimacing in pain. However, Upshaw would shake it off and remain in the game. Washington's offense sputtered in the first half when Upshaw went to the bench,
After an alley-oop to Shawn Kemp Jr. (plus the free throw off the foul), Washington led 65-59 with eight minutes to go, their largest lead of the half to that point.
Washington built their lead to double digits after a 3-pointer from Donaven Dorsey and a bucket from Williams-Goss as part of an 11-0 run after the game was tied at 59-59. A breakaway dunk from Dorsey extended Washington's lead to 13 points with 4:25 to play, their largest lead of the night.The Ducks would get some much needed momentum back when Dillon Brooks converted a 3-point play off a steal from Jalil Abdul-Bassit to trim Washington's lead back down to single digits with 3:39 remaining.
As Washington was in the double bonus for the last part of the game, Oregon would go after Upshaw, even when he didn't have the ball, in order to get the 44 percent free throw shooter to the line. Dwayne Benjamin was practically shoving Upshaw into the bench, but the refs wouldn't call it. Upshaw would head to the bench as it became apparent what Oregon was doing.
Dillon Brooks heated up at the right moment for the Ducks with back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Ducks back within five. After a second chance basket for Mike Anderson and Washington, Joe Young stepped up to drain a big 3-pointer, cutting Washington's lead down to four points with 32 seconds to play.
After Upshaw missed both free throws from an intentional foul, Dwayne Benjamin found himself with an open look at a 3-pointer. However, Benjamin airballed the shot, putting the nail in the coffin for the Ducks. Another frustrating loss in what was a winnable game, which is unfortunately becoming a common theme for Oregon.
After a rough road trip in Washington, the Ducks return to Eugene to face USC and UCLA. Oregon will take on the Trojans on Thursday at 8:00 pm and then face the Bruins on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm.