By Anne M. Peterson
The Associated Press
The Oregon Ducks had no plans to review the game film after their men’s basketball loss to rival Oregon State in last weekend’s Civil War.
“We pretty much know,” guard Johnathan Loyd shrugged.
The Ducks fell 80-72 to the Beavers in Sunday’s game for their fourth straight loss. Oregon struggled on offense and trailed nearly all the way en route to coach Dana Altman’s first defeat in Corvallis.
Oregon is now 13-4 overall and 1-4 in the Pac-12. The losing streak — the team’s longest since 2011 — comes after the Ducks reeled off 13 wins to start the season and climbed to No. 10 in the rankings.
“Each loss it gets tougher and tougher to get out of this hole we’re digging,” Loyd said. “This is four in a row, so we’re just trying to put it behind us and just try to keep moving forward.
“We’re not going to waste any energy on what happened, we’re going to put that energy into going forward to get this win and get out of this hole.”
The first chance to reverse course comes tonight, when Oregon visits Washington (11-8, 3-3), which was swept in a trip to the Bay Area last week. Then it is on to Washington State (8-10, 1-5) on Sunday.
“Defensively, we haven’t been very good. I would say that would be the common denominator,” Altman said on this week’s Pac-12 coaches’ teleconference. “For the most part I think we have scored enough points. We just haven’t gotten stops when we’ve needed them, haven’t gotten the rebounds when we’ve needed them. That’s been, probably, our Achilles’ heel.”
The Ducks’ defense has yielded 80 points or more in four straight games for the first time since the 2000-01 season. While Oregon leads the Pac-12 in scoring offense with an average of 87.4 points per game, it is last in the league in scoring defense with 77.8 points a game for its opponents.
Oregon went 28-9 last season, capped by a 77-69 loss to Louisville in the NCAA’s Sweet 16. The tournament run was something of a surprise after the Ducks were initially picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12.
This season the Ducks were picked by the media to finish fourth in the conference. They entered the season ranked No. 19 in the AP Top 25.
Oregon’s roster this season included half a dozen transfers, including Joseph Young, who came to the Ducks from Houston and leads the team in scoring with an average of 18 points per game, and forward Mike Moser, a Portland native who transferred from UNLV and is averaging 14.2 points and 7.8 rebounds a game.
The team saw some adversity at the start with the suspensions of guard Dominic Artis and forward Ben Carter for selling team apparel. Both players were sidelined for the first nine games of the season, but Carter broke out in the Civil War with 11 points off the bench.
The Ducks’ assembly of newcomers and young players could be why they have slumped of late, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar suggested.
“Sometimes it takes a while for everyone to grasp the concepts,” Romar said. “They’re probably just still learning. They could be a team that, before it’s all said and done, are a good defensive team as they learn all the concepts.”
Altman agreed that it is a process.
“We’ve just got to get better at everything,” he said. “There’s no quick fix. No magic wand.”