For Oregon head coach Dana Altman and the Ducks, Sunday afternoon's game versus Oregon State can be explained away with one statistic.
In Oregon's 76-71 home loss to their rivals from Corvallis, the Ducks turned the ball over 23 times, leading to 31 Beaver points as the Ducks were outscored 53-43 in the second half after holding a narrow 28-23 advantage at halftime. Much of the credit deservingly goes to Oregon State's 1-3-1 half-court trapping defense for their second half surge, as it stymied any potential offensive flow for the Ducks after halftime while sparking momentum for the Beavers as head coach Craig Robinson's club shot 57.1 percent from the field in the second half.
"We had some awful turnovers -- their length did bother us -- but it was poor execution," said Altman rather bluntly after his team's four-game win streak was snapped Sunday.
"That's my fault. It's my job to get them to execute and we didn't do that...That was a poorly executed game on our part. I don't want to take anything away from Oregon State, cause their length and athleticism gave us problems, but we did a poor job of handling the ball and defensively in the second half was not one of our better efforts."
Beaver guard Jared Cunningham led all scorers with 27 points, with 24 of his total coming in the second stanza.
"We came out slow, but we were only down by five at haltime," said Cunningham, "so we picked up our intensity in the second half. I know I needed to attack and be more vocal in the second half."
For much of the final 20 minutes of Sunday's game, Oregon guard Devoe Joseph was the only player for the Ducks contributing anything offensively; responsible for his team's only field goals over a roughly 10-minute span in the second half. In spite of that, Joseph -- who finished with 26 points to lead the Ducks -- was more disappointed in his team's overall lack off aggressiveness as a unit.
"I think it was what we didn't do, not what they did," remarked Joseph. "Not to take anything away from Oregon State, they're a good team, but when we're aggressive against [their 1-3-1] and we've got Johnny [Loyd] penetrating and kicking it out we get good shots and good looks.
"Sometimes we were a little hesitant and they stood us up and forced turnovers."
That hesitancy not only manifested itself as turnovers, but it also contributed to poor shot selection, as the Ducks relied too much on the three-point shot [6-for-22 in the second half] instead of penetrating the Beaver zone and hunting for higher percentage shots.
"I don't know why we weren't [more aggressive]," said Oregon forward E.J. Singler, who finished with 16 points. "Tony [Woods] wasn't playing that much and we weren't that big. We were playing a small lineup and I think we were relying on the three a little too much."
Currently sitting tied for third in the Pac-12 Conference with a 15-6 overall record, 6-3 in conference, the Ducks head out on the road to face the conference's newest members, Utah and Colorado. With half of conference play in the books, there's still time for the Ducks to make a play for the conference championship, though despite their current standing, Altman admits he believed his team would be further along at this point in the season.
"To turn the ball over 23 times in late January, that not acceptable," said Altman.
"It's a little hard today, but you can't lose games at home and be in the hunt [for a championship]. We've lost two of them now, so we've really, really hurt ourselves. We're going to have to do an extraordinary job on the road [the rest of the way], which is hard to do."
Oregon squares off against Utah this Thursday in Salt Lake City with tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. Pacific. No live telecast is planned.
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
Beavers Snap Ducks 4-Game Win Streak
eDuck Top Stories
Oregon HC Mark Helfrich on Sept. 29, 2016On Saturday, the Oregon Ducks (2-2, 0-1) travel to Pullman, Wash., to take on the Washington State Cougars (1-2, 0-0) at Martin Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Pacific…
Oregon DC Brady Hoke Talks WSU OffenseOn Thursday morning, Oregon defensive coordinator answered media questions about Washington State's offense as the Ducks prepare to meet the Cougars on Saturday at Martin Stadium.
Oregon OC Matt Lubick on Sept 28Oregon offensive coordinator Matt Lubick on Sept. 28, 2016 following practice as the Ducks prepare for Washington State this Saturday. The game will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific)…
Oregon WR Dwayne Stanford on Sept. 27, 2016Oregon WR Dwayne Staford spoke to reporters following practice on Tuesday. The Ducks are preparing to face Washington State on Saturday in a game that will be carried on Pac-12…
eDuckTuesday at 9:11 PM