MBB RECAP: Ducks Drop to Third Place After Loss to Cougars

By Ty Goss

Set to square off in a pivotal battle for 2nd place in the PAC-12, Oregon and Washington State were well aware of the implications of victory. This would be their second matchup of the year, with Oregon winning their first bout 89-84. 

Suffering from a litany of injuries, the Ducks were short-staffed, being forced to run an eight-man rotation. Washington State would be forced to employ a similar strategy, essentially running a six-man rotation.

In the beginning of the first half, the game showed early signs of being a fierce duel as each team matched each other, bucket for bucket. At the 10:00-minute mark, Oregon trailed Washington State by one point following a contested layup by Jermaine Couisnard.

The Cougars would answer with a six-point run over the next minute, a run that would set the tone for the rest of the half. Oregon would fight back to end the half strong, riding a six-point scoring wave to close the deficit to two points as the first half closed.

Through the first half, the Ducks shot well from inside the arc but were unable to hit a three-pointer through five attempts. Couisnard and Dante co-lead the Ducks in points with 8 each, while the Cougars benefitted from Jaylen Wells’ team-high 12 points off of four three-pointers.

Coming out of the second half, Oregon started off hot, re-taking the lead with 16:45 left to go. However, this would be the last time the Ducks held a lead, as Washington State quickly recovered and never let up.

Oregon would have occasional spurts of scoring, but frequent missed rebounds, turnovers, and missed shots would plague their second half. A vital missed defensive rebound with less than 30 seconds left would be the nail in the coffin for the Ducks, as the Cougars let time wind down. 

Ultimately, Washington State would triumph, beating Oregon, 62-56 and securing sole possession of second place in the PAC-12. This game marks Oregon’s worst shooting performance of the season and is a crucial setback in their season.

Oregon, who drops to 16-8 (8-5 PAC-12), will travel to Corvallis to face the Oregon State Beavers in their next matchup on Wednesday, February 28.

Audio Story by Ryan Oppenheimer