No. 23 Oregon beats Washington 65-52
By TIM BOOTH
SEATTLE (AP) Johnathan Loyd is not supposed to be a scorer for No. 23 Oregon. He wouldn't be starting if not for a foot injury to freshman Dominic Artis.
Loyd could not have picked a better time for his biggest scoring outburst of the season.
Loyd scored all 11 of his points in the second half, Damyean Dotson finished with 13 and Oregon snapped a two-game road losing streak with a 65-52 win over Washington on Wednesday night.
The Ducks (20-5, 9-3 Pac-12) had dropped three of four, losing their grasp on sole possession of first place in the conference. They regained it for at least 24 hours, moving a half-game ahead of Arizona and UCLA, who both play on Thursday night.
And they can thank Loyd, who admittedly has put extra pressure on himself since being inserted into the starting lineup while Artis is out.
"I was just so happy for him to hit a few shots tonight," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He wants to help the team so bad, I think he puts too much pressure on himself. To have him hit those shots tonight was big for him and big for our team."
Oregon played its sixth straight game without Artis, and the Ducks continued to stumble offensively without their starting point guard. But their defensive effort was stingy enough to hand Washington its seventh loss in eight games. It was the first time Oregon has swept Washington in the regular season since 1995.
Oregon got a scare it didn't need when Loyd was fouled jumping for pass with 1:36 left. As he came down his left knee buckled and he stayed down on the floor for about a minute before walking very slowly to the Ducks' bench. He eventually walked off the floor at the end of the game on his own with only a slight limp.
Loyd didn't believe the injury was serious.
"I think I'll be fine. I don't think I'll miss any games or anything like that," Loyd said. "I was a little nervous because when I was in high school, I did the same thing, hyperextended it, and I was out for two months. I don't think this one's that severe, though."
The victory gave the Ducks 20 victories for the 14th time in school history. It would have come sooner if Oregon hadn't stumbled with consecutive road losses at Stanford and California, followed by a home loss to Colorado. Oregon got back on track by beating Utah at home last Saturday and then followed up by extending Washington's slide.
"We were in kind of a shock after we lost to Stanford and we couldn't get ourselves prepared to play 40-minute games, but I think we're getting that feeling back," Kazemi said. "The game against Utah helped us a lot."
Washington leading scorer C.J. Wilcox continued to struggle. He missed his first six shots and finished 3 of 13 for nine points. Wilcox has been bothered by a foot problem that has limited his practice time. Washington shot just 35 percent and its 52 points tied for the third-fewest in a game during Lorenzo Romar's tenure as coach.
Abdul Gaddy led the Huskies (13-12, 5-7) with 17 points. The loss was Washington's largest in conference play and continued a surprising slide after beginning the Pac-12 season 4-0.
"Our team is very, very disappointed in the situation, and in themselves. We're all disappointed," Romar said.
Washington closed to 35-32 in the opening stages of the second half before Oregon went on an 11-2 run. The Ducks scored six straight points, including a pair of baskets by Kazemi. Shawn Kemp Jr.'s follow dunk briefly stemmed the run, but the Ducks scored the next five to take their biggest lead of the game to that point.
Oregon stretched the advantage to 44-34 with 13:14 left after Kazemi made one of two free throws. Loyd then stole a lazy inbounds pass by Wilcox and raced the other way for a layup, and the lead was 12 with 12 minutes left.
Washington tried to make another charge with six straight points of its own, but Tony Woods followed Loyd's wild layup attempt with an emphatic dunk just before the shot clock expired to push the lead back to 48-40 with 7:37 left. The teams traded empty possessions and Loyd hit a wide-open 3 for an 11-point lead with 6:47 remaining.
That proved to be enough. Washington trimmed the deficit to seven and had a chance to get closer, but Aziz N'Diaye missed the front end of a one-and-one. Loyd then hit a jumper at the top of the key and Dotson scored on a fast break to push the lead back to 11.
"We've got six left and we've got to perform," Altman said.
Updated February 14, 2013