While watching the Washington Huskies 81-76 loss to the Oregon Ducks today, someone said, "They always make it close and then let you down."
It's a funny comment because it's not really that true - prior to these last three consecutive road losses, the Huskies haven't been involved in enough close losses to really they "always" lose games at all. In fact, it might feel like a long time ago, but they've been pretty solid in front of the home crowd this season.
But three straight losses in a season with high expectations even less than a week ago can feel that disappointing to fans.
As a graphic during the FSN broadcast described, Oregon and Washington are two teams headed in opposite directions right now and it's the Huskies that have spiraled down into an abyss of poor play on the road that they can't seem to snap out of at this point.
After the game, UW coach Lorenzo Romar took a positive approach, noting that he thought his team defended better than they did against Oregon State. And indeed, after a first half defensive effort that saw Oregon spending large stretches of the game driving to the basket seemingly uncontested, Washington did eventually settle down defensively and come up with some good possessions, forcing turnovers and forcing Oregon into shots late in the clock.
The problem was that their offense was anything but fluid throughout the game, with the Huskies continuing to rush shots and make turnovers, as quoted by Don Ruiz of the The News Tribune.
UW Huskies Insider - " Oregon hands UW third straight loss, 81-76 The News Tribune Blogs, Tacoma, WA
"Our effort pleased me. I thought we put forth a much better effort today. We put forth that type of effort, we’re going to be just in good shape. What we didn’t do was match our effort with the right mental mindset. They scored 26 points off of turnovers. That’s a lot of points. You cut that down just a little bit – you don’t have to have a stellar performance – just cut that down to what we usually do, we give ourselves a better chance."
Ultimately, whether you attribute the loss(es) to defense or offense, the team has definitely not been in the right mindset and needs to put in some work to turn things around if they want to have a chance to win the conference title.