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Oregon whiffs on defense once again at Washington in fifth-straight loss

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Washington guard C.J. Wilcox (23) shoots the ball against Oregon during the last ten seconds of the Jan. 23, 2014 …

Oregon's defensive struggles during its current losing streak have been well-documented and lamented by coach Dana Altman.

After a fifth consecutive loss Thursday 80-76 at Washington, its fair to wonder if the Ducks are ever going to bother to correct the problem. Altman has certainly tried and seemed to have his team refocused in the first half against the Huskies. But the Ducks allowed Washington to make 69.6 percent of its shots in the second half, including a dagger 3-pointer from the top of the key by C.J. Wilcox in the final minute.

Washington shot .578 in the game and .583 from behind the 3-point line. It was a big step back after seemingly making some progress in their last outing, albeit a loss, to Oregon State. That game is the only one in the five-game losing streak the Ducks have held an opponent under 50 percent shooting.

The Ducks appear convinced they can win games by simply outscoring opponents and believe they have the talent to it. It worked well for them in nonconference play but it's clearly not getting the job done in the Pac-12.

With a five-game losing streak, the next four games could be the make-or-break part of the schedule for the Ducks. They face the two worst teams in the conference in Washington State and USC and games against the two best teams, No. 1 Arizona and UCLA.

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Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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