Ducks trump Cougar men’s basketball

Redshirt+junior+Royce+Woolridge+is+blocked+by+Oregon%E2%80%99s%C2%A0+sophomore+Ben+Carter+during+a+game+against+the+Ducks+in+Beasley+Coliseum%2C+Sunday%2C+Jan.+26.+Woolridge+scored+four+points+in+the+71-44+loss.

Redshirt junior Royce Woolridge is blocked by Oregon’s  sophomore Ben Carter during a game against the Ducks in Beasley Coliseum, Sunday, Jan. 26. Woolridge scored four points in the 71-44 loss.

Evan Baron Evergreen Men's Basketball Reporter

WSU freshman guard Ike Iroegbu blocked the shot of an Oregon forward, raced up the court with the ball, and tried make a pass to teammate sophomore forward Junior Longrus. However, the pass sailed wide left of Longrus and into the scorer table.

Iroegbu put his hands on his head in disbelief, which summed up the game for the Cougars (8-12, 1-7), who suffered a 44-71 loss to the Ducks (14-5, 2-5) at home Sunday afternoon.

“I think Oregon’s got a lot of talent and you know they’ve lost a few in a row, but they stayed together as a team and kept plugging away at it, and I think that’s a good lesson for us,” WSU men’s basketball Head Coach Ken Bone said. “We’ve lost a few in a row too now and we need to stay together as a group and just keep working hard.”

The Cougars kept this game close for the most part in the first half. WSU redshirt junior center Jordan Railey blocked two shots, which helped get the crowd get involved early. With 12:45 left in the first half, the Cougars trailed the Ducks by a score of 7-10.

 However, the Ducks put the game away early by hitting multiple 3-pointers and outrebounding the Cougars in the first half. The Ducks finished the first half with nine offensive rebounds and 24 total rebounds while the Cougars rebounded the ball just nine times in the first half.

 “We’ve proven in certain games where we’ve done a good job on the glass, but tonight that hurt us,” Bone said.

Trailing by a score of 17-30 at halftime, the Cougars once again struggled to score early on in the second half, which allowed the Ducks to go on a 7-0 run. WSU managed to only score two points in first four minutes of the second half.

“Everyone knows Oregon’s fast, they did a good job of just pressuring us and just not letting us go by them,” Iroegbu said.

With less than six minutes remaining in the second half, the Cougars made six field goals in the entire game and finished shooting 25 percent field, which accounted for 44 total points.

“We’ve got to be able to score some points,” Bone said. “You just can’t win games scoring 44 points or 48 or (4)9 whatever it is that we’re scoring, we’ve got to be able to make some shots and score some points, if not you can’t compete.”

The 24 point loss to the Ducks at home marks the Cougars’ fourth-straight loss. The post-game press conference was delayed by 15 minutes due to a team meeting in the locker room after the game.

“We talked in the locker room as a team and with our coach and talked about what we needed to do to get to where we want to get,” WSU redshirt junior guard Royce Woolridge said. “We just got to be ready for our next practice and stay focused and together as a team.”

WSU redshirt freshman guard Que Johnson was the team’s leading scorer with nine points, while Iroegbu finished second on the team in scoring with seven points.

“I think Oregon’s one of those teams that could potentially be extremely good six weeks from now,” Bone said. “They have a lot of talent, there’s a reason why they got up to number ten (ranking) in the country.”