Stagnant offense in the closing minutes of games has been the Achilles heel of this Ducks basketball team over the course of the last month. Last night was no exception as the Ducks failed to score a single point over the course of the final two and a half minutes and blew another close game that should have ended in victory. While the Ducks had won three straight games coming into the Cal matchup, the offense still struggled down the stretch — this time causing a tough conference loss and the loss of the conference lead.
In last weekend’s victory over Washington State, the Ducks managed to blow a four-point lead in the closing minutes. Factor in being shut out over the course of the final three minutes of the first matchup against Cal and letting Colorado score eight straight points to win in the waning seconds and you have a serious pattern/problem on your hands. Oregon has persistently failed to score when it matters most. With our most recent loss at the hands of Cal (who’ve won 11 straight against the Ducks) we have dropped back into a tie atop the conference and no longer control our own fate. We still have a tough matchup in Boulder against the Buffs, and you never know what can happen in a rivalry matchup against Oregon State.
These Ducks had better find a way to score late in games fast, or we could fall out of contention for the regular season crown and potentially out of the NCAA tournament picture. A return from Dominic Artis would help tremendously, but everything is hush-hush on that front.