Ducks

Oregon Ducks fall to Washington State in Will Richardson's return

Ducks

27.

That's not how much Oregon's leading scorer had. That's how many days it's been since Oregon men's basketball has won a game due to a loss against Oregon State and six games being postponed due to COVID-19. 

That losing skid continued with Washington State (11-7, 4-7) defeating Oregon (9-4, 4-3) at Matthew Knight Arena, 74-71. It's the first time the Cougars have ever won at MKA. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent]

Here are the key takeaways.

The Good

Will Richardson returned!

After being sidelined all season due to left thumb surgery, the junior point guard made his season debut Thursday after being cleared earlier this week. Altman said on Talkin' Ducks that if he played on Thursday vs. Washington State would come down to his conditioning and it would be his decision.

Richardson played 33 minutes but struggled from the field shooting just 2-9 but he did make six of seven free-throw attempts and added five assists. The offense passed the eye test with him in it, even if the results left a lot to be desired. 

The Bad

Three-point shooting

Oregon struggled from behind the arc, making just five of seventeen three-pointers for 29.4%. Richardson, who played for the first time this year, missed all four attempts.

 

Meanwhile, the Cougars shot 45.5% from behind the arc, making ten threes including many momentum-swinging buckets to keep the Ducks at an arm's length away.  

Chris Duarte injured.

During the second half, Chris Duarte went down with a right ankle injury and did not return to the court after being helped off of it. If he misses extended time, that could be it for the Oregon Ducks who rely on his shot creation and outside shooting to win. 

Dana Altman had no update on Chris Duarte's status during his postgame press conference. 

The Stat

Oregon had ten first-half turnovers. 

The Quote

"We really struggled with turnovers, ten turnovers in the first half.... We were slow getting to their shooters." - Dana Altman

The Next Game

Oregon hosts Washington on Saturday, February 6th at 1:00 p.m. PT.