Here's the second installment of our "Catching Up with the Ducks" series, which covers Oregon's home series with the Washington schools, and road-trip to Cal.
After going 0-4 in the first stretch of games, losing by an average of 16 points, the Ducks began an equally tough portion of their schedule, with two games at home against the Washington Schools, and a road-tip to the Bay Area to play Cal and Stanford.
The Washington game was closer than the final score indicated (in the first half), as Bob Clark of the Register-Guard notes:
Oregon had scored eight consecutive points. The Ducks were leading by three.
So much for prosperity.
In the next six possessions, Oregon missed two shots, committed four turnovers and Washington scored the game's next nine points to take the lead for good in the first half on the way to an 84-67 victory over the Ducks on Thursday night at McArthur Court.
"It was really similar to a few other games we've played," UO coach Ernie Kent said. "When you make mistakes like we did when we had the lead in the first half ... we kept shooting ourselves in the foot."
After that game, the Huskies picked up steam, winning three straight until they were beat by Arizona on Thursday night.
With the loss, the Ducks picked up their fifth straight loss, with one of their most winnable home games, Washington State, up next. The Ducks kept it close against the Cougars, but Cougar guard Taylor Rochestie and the officials were just too muchfor the Ducks, and their head coach...
While Oregon's losing streak reached six games in a 74-62 loss to Washington State on Saturday at McArthur Court, the Ducks went after the Cougars with as much vigor as their coach did the officials.
Unfortunately, that got Ernie Kent ejected for the first time in his 19 seasons as a head coach, and the Ducks could only make themselves a nuisance to WSU as Oregon matched its longest stretch of games without a win in 16 years.
Then, it was off to the Bay Area for Oregon, a place where their counterparts, Oregon State, had great success. The Ducks weren't so successful, however, as they dropped both games on the road-tip, extending their conference losing streak to eight games.
The Ducks were blown out by Stanford before halftime, and this seventh consecutive loss to open the Pac-10 season prompted UO coach Ernie Kent to suggest he'll be benching veterans and going all out with a youth movement in Saturday's game at California.
"I've got to shake up this lineup because we've obviously got to start the game with a little more fire," Kent said.
Any kind of a spark would help.
I admit it, I was going into the Cal game with very low expectations. I wanted a win, I always want a win but I would take some solice in a reasonable effort. I got that but that was all I got. With Oregon State's win over Cal the previous Thursday, I thought we were going to get destroyed. We hung in there and even though we didn't get the win, there were some positives to build on.
There you have it... eight conference games, eight conference losses for the Ducks. They'll try to end that streak tonight at Gill, where the confident Beavers will be trying to hand them their ninth straight.
Tipoff is slated for 4:30 at Gill Coliseum.