With point guard Dominic Artis sidelined with a foot injury, Oregon's offense was anything but fine-tuned. The Ducks turned it over 23 times, and struggled to initiate their basic offense. Replacements Johnathan Loyd and Willie Moore combined for nine turnovers, seven in the first half.
"We played really hard. The guys were battling. The turnovers really took away from the performance. A lot of bad decisions, things we're going to have to work on," head coach Dana Altman said.
Loyd made his 32nd start of his career, but the first this season since Nov. 23's victory at UNLV. Loyd, whose play often borders on erratic, was effective enough despite the turnovers. He finished with nine points and five assists.
"I thought Johnny really gave us a lot of energy in the first four minutes of the game, which we haven't really been playing well," senior E.J. Singler said. "I've always said that we don't really drop off when Johnny comes in. He's been there before. He's got a lot of experience. I have a whole lot of faith in him." Moore was the wildcard. A freshman combo guard from Cincinnati, he had played just five minutes in Pac-12 play and few if any at the point guard position this season. But played the role as Loyd's primary back up, spelling him for nine minutes Saturday.
"The biggest thing is not playing together in game situations. I thought he played good though, for a freshman coming into a Pac-12 game. That's hard," Singler said.
"Willie struggled at times. He had a little trouble getting us into things," Altman said. "We've just got to get Willie some more reps, this happened pretty quick for him. He'll make the adjustment." In the limited minutes, he showed flashes of offensive competence, finishing with nine points, converting 5-of-7 free throws.
With 15:24 left in the second half, the Ducks clung to a three-point lead. Having struggled to gain separation against the Huskies, Altman decided to turn to a full-court press. The result was back-to-back turnovers, including a five-second violation and enough momentum to pull out the victory.
"The press really gave us a big boost. It was very effective for us. It gave us the little cushion there," Altman said.
"We just made turnovers. Which was big. We needed something to break away from them, because we weren't getting any separation," Singler said.
The Ducks were aided in part by the packed-crowd, who Singler described as "the best crowd" he'd seen at Matthew Knight Arena.
"The fans today were great, they really got us going on our stretch in the second half. I'm really happy about the turnout today," Singler said, who had admitted he was "surprised" by Wednesday's lackluster turnout.
The win also extended the Ducks home-winning streak to 20 games, giving fans added incentive to turnout in droves for the Ducks' final five home games. Oregon maintains lead of the Pac-12, with an undefeated record, the Ducks stretched that lead to two games with UCLA's loss Saturday.
Singler was aggressive offensively for the second straight game, leading the Ducks with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Arsalan Kazemi finished with his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Kazemi converted consecutive and-one plays to extend the Ducks lead to 12. Emory was the third Duck in double-figures, scoring 11.
Washington led midway through the first half, in large part due to a 10-4 rebounding advantage. But, in what has become a reoccurring theme, Oregon finished the game with a 30-24 advantage on the glass.
Altman was unable to give a timetable for Artis' return and would not describe the extent of the injury. "I'm not sure how long it'll be," he said. "He doesn't feel like he can go on it. We'll wait and see how long it takes."