It wasn’t pretty, far from it actually, but Oregon (19-8, 7-8 Pac-12) got a much-needed victory with an 87-83 double overtime win over the UCLA Bruins (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12) at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif.
With the win, Oregon continues its four-game winning streak and keeps its NCAA tournament chances very much alive heading into its final three regular season games.
The loss by UCLA means that Arizona has clinched at least a tie for the Pac-12 regular season championship and sured up the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament from March 12-15 in Las Vegas, Nev.
The knock on the Ducks since Pac-12 play began was the fact that they could never find a way to close out games, losing four games by two points. Thursday night’s showing proved no different in regulation.
After leading UCLA by six points with 24 seconds left in regulation, the Ducks allowed the Bruins to knock down two three-pointers over the final 16 seconds, one by Bryce Alford and the other by David Wear.
After Joseph Young converted a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left to put Oregon up 71-68, the Ducks’ defense completely broke down. Travis Wear inbounded the ball and threw a three-quarters court pass to his brother David, who caught the ball, allowed Johnathan Loyd to run right by him, and calmly hit the thirty-footer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
One overtime wasn’t enough, however, as Joseph Young scored the last points of the first overtime for both teams with a layup to tie the game at 73-73 with 1:36 to play.
In the second overtime, Elgin Cook, Mike Moser and Young combined to score 12 of the Ducks’ 14 overtime points. Oregon went 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the second overtime period to seal the game.
Young led Oregon with 26 points while Calliste scored 18 points and Moser added 12 points and a game-high 20 rebounds.
UCLA was led by the freshman Alford with a career-high 31 points while fellow freshman Zach LaVine added 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
The Bruins were also playing short-handed as leading scorer Jordan Adams and Pac-12 player of the year candidate Kyle Anderson did not play due to a violation of unspecified team rules.
The first half was everything Oregon could’ve hoped for as the Bruins struggled to find a groove on offense without Adams and Anderson that allowed the Ducks to enter the half with a 37-25 lead.
The Bruins refused to give up though in the second half and behind the play of Alford and LaVine, they began to inch closer and closer to tying the game up. With five minutes left in the game and the Bruins trailing 56-50, Alford and LaVine combined to score 16 of UCLA’s next 21 points, including a pair of threes by Alford in the final minute that were both assisted on drives by LaVine.
Oregon’s Damyean Dotson returned to action to score six points after sitting out the Ducks’ previous game against Washington State. Dotson was cited and released by Eugene Police after using a fake identification to gain access to Taylor’s Bar and Grill, an on-campus bar at Oregon.
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