Oregon’s NCAA hopes take a hit in 78-67 loss to Washington

Washington ended three years of frustration against one of its key rivals and left Oregon betting on a long run at the Pac-12 tournament to keep its NCAA hopes alive.

Terrell Brown Jr. and Emmitt Matthews Jr. both scored 25 points, Nate Roberts added a career-high 18 points before fouling out, and Washington beat Oregon 78-67 on Thursday night, dealing a major blow to Oregon’s hopes of an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

Matthews scored 17 in the second half as the Huskies snapped a six-game losing streak to Oregon.

“I felt like we were a really tough team tonight and made the plays that we had to make,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said.

Oregon (18-12, 11-8 Pac-12) was already considered a bubble team and most pundits had the Ducks on the outside of the NCAA field. But the loss to the Huskies likely ends those at-large hopes and leaves the Ducks’ chance at another NCAA trip riding on a deep run in the Pac-12 tournament next week in Las Vegas.

“We’re going to have to do something really special here down the stretch to get in the NCAA Tournament,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “So we just got to go swing away. We can’t change the past. We’ve got to worry about the future.”

Meanwhile, the Huskies (15-14, 10-9) picked up one of their more satisfying wins of the season after getting blown out by 28 against Oregon on the road in January. Washington took control with a 19-6 run late in the first half and started the second half scoring 13 of the first 15 points to take a 21-point lead.

The lead eventually ballooned to 23. Washington had not beaten Oregon in Seattle since 2015.

“Adjustments. Realizing we weren’t the same team that played them the first time. Realizing that we are a good team,” Roberts said.

De’Vion Harmon led Oregon with 17 points and Quincy Guerrier added 16 and Jacob Young scored 14. Leading scorer Will Richardson was completely absent from the offense and finished with zero points in 32 minutes. Richardson was averaging 14.4 points per game.

“He’s struggling. I mean, I don’t know what else to say,” Altman said of Richardson. “He’s a very good offensive player, and he got the foul on the first play of the game and just got a little tentative offensively and defensively.”

Brown carried Washington through a sloppy first half offensively, but he got help from Matthews and Roberts. The Huskies made 9 of 11 shots in the first 7 ½ minutes of the second half with Roberts getting good looks on the interior and showing an offensive prowess that’s been absent all season.

Roberts’ previous career-high was 13 points last year against Montana. He fouled out with 6:09 left after picking up two quick blocking fouls.

Washington’s run at the end of the half gave the Huskies a 33-23 lead at the break. It was a complete reversal from the first meeting in Eugene in January when the Ducks led 48-13 at halftime. Brown had 14 in the first half and did so despite playing the final 10 ½ minutes with two fouls.

“They’re a good team and we just had to show that we belong with those tough teams,” Brown said.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon: The Ducks have made the NCAAs in every season but one since 2012 and have won at least one tournament game in every season under Altman. Last year, the Ducks reached the round of 16 before losing to USC.

Washington: The Huskies are guaranteed of finishing the regular season with at least a .500 record depending on what happens in the finale against Oregon State. The Huskies won five games last season.

UP NEXT

Oregon: At Washington State on Saturday.

Washington: Hosts Oregon State on Saturday.