Losing to your in-state rival sucks. Every time. Always. And it was especially disappointing for the Oregon Ducks (20-6, 14-4 Pac-12), who were red-hot and rolling on a six-game win streak to fall flat against a very eager and energized Oregon State Beavers (16-12, 10-10 Pac-12) team in a Pac-12 Tournament semifinal matchup Friday night.
It’s hard to hit the brakes in March when your team has been flying at cruising altitude since early February. After drubbing the Washington Huskies 86-74 on Feb. 6 in Eugene, the Ducks went 10-1 in the final 11 games of the regular season. Throw in a 93-71 rout of the Arizona State Sun Devils in the quarterfinals of the conference tourney and the Ducks appeared to be an unstoppable basketball juggernaut headed for a deep playoff run on the national stage.
Then came some heavy turbulence — a Beaver-buzzsaw that brought their momentum crashing back down to Earth.
“Oregon State just outplayed us,” UO head coach Dana Altman told Rob Moseley of UO Athletics. “They outworked us right from the start. Outrebounded us; much more energy than what we had. I knew they’d come after us, I tried to express that to our team. But we were just stuck in the mud from the start.”
Oregon’s three leading scorers — Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi, LJ Figueroa — were all held to 14 points each, nearly three points below the season average of 16.7 points per game for both Duarte and Omoruyi. The Ducks went 23 of 55 on field goals for an average of 42%, their lowest field goal percentage since their 72-58 loss to the USC Trojans on Feb. 22 in Los Angeles. The Ducks were even more disappointing from beyond the arc, going just 6 of 25 (or 24%).
By any measure, it was just a bad day at the office for the Ducks. Yes, losing stinks, but it’s time to move on. The good news? This season has brought more highlights than low points. For starters, the loss against OSU was one of their worst performances of the year and far below Oregon’s talent and skill level.
Secondly, the Ducks are the regular-season Pac-12 champs, almost certainly destined for a decent seed (projected at No. 8) in the upcoming NCAA Tournament bracket selection on Sunday. Senior Chris Duarte was also just named Pac-12 Player of the Year by the Associated Press, becoming the second straight Oregon guard to earn the prestigious award Payton Pritchard won last year. Duarte is the 7th player in program history to be named Pac-12 Player of the Year, joining Pritchard, Dillon Brooks (2016-17), Joe Young (2014-15), Ron Lee (1975-76), Terrell Brandon (1990-91), and Luke Ridnour (2002-03).
If you’re a Ducks fan, there is still a lot to be excited about. Perhaps a screeching halt was just what the Ducks needed before entering the Big Dance. Please fasten your seatbelts and put your seats and table trays in the upright position for take-off. Enjoy your flight, Oregon fans.
San Diego, California
Top Photo By: Gary Breedlove
Jordan is a lifelong Duck fan currently living in San Diego. Jordan graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, after serving a prestigious fellowship with the Washington State House of Representatives. Upon graduation, he worked as an English language teaching assistant for the Spanish Ministry of Education’s Ambassadorial Program in Monforte de Lemos, Spain. Jordan has worked as a journalist, writer, and editor in Oregon, Washington, Montana, and California, covering a wide range of topics, including sports, local politics, and crime. He is VERY excited to be writing about his beloved Oregon Ducks.
FishDuck Has New Off-Season Schedule and see the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!
FishDuck articles will now be on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday only during the off-season, and then we will go back to seven days a week during the football season beginning in August.
We will have some occasional guest articles later in the week, but the hottest Oregon football information will be posted in the OBD forum!
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Be a part of the forum and stay caught up! When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!