The Oregon Ducks were struggling, especially on the defensive end, coming into their match-up with the Washington State Cougars on Sunday afternoon. But meeting a hapless WSU squad was all Oregon needed to look like the team that started the season 13-0.
Oregon had allowed Pac-12 opponents to score 1.14 points per possession coming into the game against the Cougars. WSU had scored just 0.82 PPP against conference opponents. Something had to give, and what gave was the Oregon defense, as the Cougars struggled to score once again.
WSU head coach Ken Bone's attempt to remedy the situation was to start senior Will DiIorio, who coming in had a 68.9 offensive rating (100 is average). Combining DiIorio with a Jordan Railey, who has similarly struggled offensively this season, made it even easier for the Ducks to focus on Que Johnson. The freshman struggled to find open looks for much of the night. He still led the Cougs with nine points.
Overall, the Cougs made just two 2-point baskets and finished with a 35 effective field goal percentage. Oregon was 9 of 22 on 3s, helping it to a 54 eFG%. The Ducks also rebounding nearly half their misses (WSU had 17defensive rebounds versus Oregon's 15 offensive boards).
The Cougs actually had one of their best games of the season in terms of getting to the free throw line, shooting 25 free throws against 40 field goal attempts. That doesn't matter much when a team shoots as poorly from the field as WSU did against Oregon.
Washington State drops to 1-7 in Pac-12 play, while Oregon improves to 2-5. The Cougs will be on the court next when they host UW on Saturday.