Ducks' Big Dance chances slipping away
EUGENE — The worst loss of Dana Altman’s tenure at Oregon was not the most-lopsided defeat of his coaching career.
That distinction remains a 117-76 loss to Oklahoma on Jan. 18, 1992, during Altman’s second season at Kansas State. Oregon’s 96-61 loss at Stanford on Saturday moved up to No. 2 on the coach’s list of blowout defeats.
“We just didn’t compete,” Altman said after the game.
Altman’s largest margin of defeat during 16 seasons at Creighton was 95-61 against Western Kentucky on Dec. 19, 2001. He matched that with Oregon’s 90-56 loss at Arizona three seasons ago.
Saturday’s 35-point loss at Stanford featured a similar score as the Cardinal posted their widest margin of victory ever over the Ducks. It was also Stanford’s biggest conference victory since defeating Washington 105-60 on Jan. 19, 2002.
Stanford shot 62.5 percent from the field compared to 42.1 percent for the Ducks and outrebounded Oregon 34-21. Stanford had 18 assists while the Ducks had 10.
“We knew how good their players were and how capable they are and they came to perform,” Oregon junior forward Paul White said. “Credit to them.”
Oregon (15-8) remains in sixth place in the Pac-12 Conference but fell 1 1/2 games back of UCLA and Stanford, who are tied at 7-4 for the fourth place and the final first-round bye at next month’s conference tournament in Las Vegas. The Ducks are two games behind third-place Washington, which is 7-3 after sweeping the Arizona schools last week to move on the cusp of the Top 25.
Oregon, which hosts Washington at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, dropped 15 spots to No. 95 in the RPI following the loss to the Cardinal. With eight regular-season games remaining, the Ducks would likely need to win at least six to have any chance at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“You’ve got to look at the good and bad after every game,” White said. “Every day is a brand new day. Nobody got hurt in the game, so we are healthy. This is not the end of the road for us.”
White moved back into the starting lineup at Stanford in place of Kenny Wooten and scored seven points in the first five minutes, but played only three more minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls. He finished with 10 points in 16 minutes.
“Coach said I was going to start and I told him ‘OK, whatever you need’,” White said.
Wooten played 18 minutes off the bench and finished with two points, two blocks and two rebounds.
The 6-foot-9 freshman was a reserve in his first 12 games and averaged 8.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. In 10 starts, he averaged 4.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.