Thursday, December 29, 2016

No. 2 UCLA Edged at No. 21 Oregon, 89-87

from College Hoops

dec 28, 2016 | ucla men's basketball page | ARTICLE LINK
EUGENE, Ore. – Thomas Welsh scored 20 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds as No. 2 UCLA dropped its first game of the season, losing at No. 21 Oregon, 89-87, on Wednesday evening.

Oregon snapped UCLA's season-opening win streak at 13 games before a sellout crowd of 12,364 at Matthew Knight Arena, as Dillon Brooks drilled a game-winning three-pointer with 0.8 seconds to play in the second half for the Ducks (12-2, 1-0 Pac-12).

Brooks' last-second shot helped the Ducks erase an eight-point deficit in the game's final four minutes. Last season's Pac-12 Player of the Year, Brooks finished Wednesday's Pac-12 opener with 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists. He was one of five Oregon players to score in double figures.

UCLA's Bryce Alford scored 20 points, connecting on 7 of 11 shots and 6 of 10 three-point attempts, while Lonzo Ball totaled 14 points and TJ Leaf added 13.

Oregon extended its home win streak to 34 games with the win on Wednesday, in what was the Pac-12 opening game for both teams.

"This is an outstanding [Oregon] team," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "We're not going to end everybody's home streaks over the course of the year, obviously. I thought that we fought like crazy and had a really good second half. We shot the ball at a high level, again. This was an Oregon defense that was top 30 in the country. We got 87 [points] and shot it well. But we did it at Kentucky, and we just weren't able to close this one."

Trailing 65-57 with 13 minutes left in the second half, Ball helped UCLA (13-1, 0-1 Pac-12) fuel a 15-0 scoring run as the freshman nailed three consecutive three-pointers over a two-minute span. Ball's three-point spree pushed UCLA ahead by a 72-65 margin with 8:02 to go in the game.

The Bruins led, 82-74, after a jump shot on the wing by Welsh with 3:32 to go before Oregon rallied with a three-pointer from Chris Boucher and a tip-in from Brooks with 2:43 remaining to cut UCLA's advantage to 82-79.

After a pair of free throws from Oregon's Dylan Ennis pulled the host Ducks to within two points (85-83), Ball made a layup for UCLA. With Oregon trailing 87-83, Pritchard made a three-pointer with 16 seconds left before Alford missed a free throw at the nine-second mark. Oregon corralled the loose ball before Brooks hit the game-winner in the game's final moments.

The Bruins trailed by a season-high 12 points in the first half before reducing Oregon's early cushion to 52-47 by halftime.

UCLA returns to action at Oregon State on Friday, Dec. 30. Game time at OSU's Gill Coliseum is 8 p.m. (PT). The Bruins' game will be televised by Pac-12 Network.


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