Friday, February 10, 2017

No. 9 UCLA Completes Comeback Over No. 6 Oregon


LOS ANGELES – Lonzo Ball scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 9 UCLA erased a 19-point first-half deficit to defeat No. 6 Oregon, 82-79, before a capacity crowd of 13,659 in Pauley Pavilion on Thursday.

Aaron Holiday had 15 points off the bench, including the game-winning three-point shot with 4:01 to play.
UCLA (22-3, 9-3) had five players who scored in double figures, led by Ball and Holiday. Ball recorded his eighth double-double of the season, just his third of the point-rebound variety. Thomas Welsh scored 12 points, connecting on 6 of 7 shots, while Bryce Alford added 12 points. Isaac Hamilton finished with 11.

Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey each scored 19 points for the visiting Ducks (21-4, 10-2), who lost for just the second time in their last 21 games.

"To get a win this way, I'm just so proud of my team," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "We've talked about trust all year and we just continue to trust our guys. We didn't get into a great flow in the first half. Arguably Lonzo's toughest 20 minutes to start the game and then maybe one of his better 20 minutes to end the game. That's how special he is."

The Bruins trailed throughout the contest, falling behind by as many as 19 points – 37-18 – with 6:37 to play in the first half. UCLA closed the opening half on a 21-11 scoring run, reducing Oregon's halftime cushion to 48-39.

UCLA trailed Oregon by a 67-54 margin with 12 minutes to play in regulation, before the Bruins used a decisive 18-3 scoring run to take a two-point lead. Ball scored five straight points during the stretch, and Holiday's critical three-pointer with 4:01 left in the game gave UCLA a 72-70 advantage.

The Bruins did not relinquish their lead through the rest of the game. Oregon's Payton Pritchard helped the Ducks reduce UCLA's lead to 77-75 with a three-pointer at the 59-second mark, but Ball responded with a deep triple to push the Bruins' lead back to five points.

Oregon shaved the Bruins' lead to one point with 14 seconds left on the clock, but a pair of free throws from Holiday made it a three-point advantage and Oregon was unable to score on its final possession.
UCLA's win came on a night in which the program honored legendary Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, who called UCLA basketball games in Pauley Pavilion for nine seasons under head coach John Wooden. Enberg, who addressed the UCLA faithful at halftime, called games for the Bruins in eight of Coach Wooden's 10 championship seasons.

The Bruins improved to 2-0 against top-five ranked opponents this season, having previously won at No. 1-ranked Kentucky, 97-92, on Dec. 3, 2016.

UCLA returns to action against Oregon State (4-21, 0-12) on Sunday afternoon in Pauley Pavilion. Game time is 2 p.m. (PT). The Bruins' game will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).

Finally...The Box

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