EUGENE - With all the concerns about defense, the Oregon Ducks couldn't make a basket when they needed it most. Guards Johnathan Loyd and Dominic Artis each got looks in the final 15 seconds, but neither could net the equalizer, and Oregon fell for the third straight time 82-80 at the hands of the Stanford Cardinal.
Artis got the ball all the way to the rim in the waning seconds, but his shot attempt fell short and so did the Ducks comeback effort.
But it was the defensive misses leading up to it that really put them between a rock and a hard place. The Cardinal made 15-of-24 second half shots against the Ducks, and despite the Ducks making 6-of-10 three-point shots during that stretch, the Cardinal held an 81-75 lead with a minute go .
"We just couldn't stops down the stretch. That's mainly what it was," said forward Mike Moser.
For the third straight game, an Oregon opponent shot over 50-percent for the game.
"I'm not sure what the answer is," said coach Dana Altman. "But we've got a lot of work ahead of us to try and get it better and make some drastic changes."
The Ducks will have six days of preparation to mull it over before facing Oregon State for the first of an important three-game Northwest road swing.
"It's going to make or break us. After losing three straight, we're really desperate right now," Moser said of the road stretch.
Now just 1-3 in the Pac-12 play, the Ducks have little room for error going forward.
"After having a pretty good six week stretch, we've had an awful eight days here," Atlman said.
An Artis corner three capped a 5-0 Oregon run with 23 seconds remaining in the game, and put the Ducks down just one. The shot followed an Elgin Cook blocked shot of Stanford's Josh Huestis, who was going up for what appeared to be an easy dunk.
Stanford missed 3-of-4 free throws in the final 15 seconds, but Artis was unable to tie it and force overtime.
"Nine times out of ten DA goes and finishes over the big guy or gets fouled," said Moser, who finished with a team-high 24 points. "I was confident. I really thought he was going to go and get us a basket."
Jason Calliste had 12 points and Damyean Dotson had 10.
"I mentioned earlier that we'd find out about our team when we faced adversity," Altman said "We haven't handled it very well. We will have an opportunity to handle it the next two weeks as we go on the road for three games."