Eugene, OR – It was the most anticipated game in the history of Matthew Knight Arena as No. 2 UCLA and No. 21 Oregon opened Pac-12 play before an SRO crowd of 12,364. The game certainly didn’t disappoint as Dillon Brooks hit a three-pointer with 0.8 seconds remaining to lift Oregon to a 89-87 victory over the previously undefeated Bruins.
UCLA seemed to have to game in hand as their hot three-point second half shooting erased a 12 -point first half deficit and a five-point halftime deficit. Bryce Alford hit three second half 3s, Lonzo Ball hit two and the Bruins shot 7-of-14 from long distance in the second half.
Midway through the half Ball hit back-to-back 3’s, the first gave the Bruins a two-point lead and the second extended the lead to five at 70-65. When Thomas Welch made a layup with 3:53 remaining UCLA’s lead extended to 80-72 but Oregon was not done. A Chris Boucher three cut the UCLA lead to 82-77 and Brooks followed with a lay-in to cut the lead to three. After a T.J. Leaf free throw, Welch and Payton Pritchard traded baskets leaving the lead at four with 59 seconds left. Dylan Ennis then made two free throws to cut the lead to two but then Ball went one-on-one and scored with 24 seconds left to extend the lead to 87-83. Pritchard then made the second most key shot of the game canning a three-pointer from 25-feet on the wing to cut the lead to 87-86. The Ducks then fouled Alford, an 87 percent free throw shooter who had not been to the line all game. Alford missed the front end of the one-and-one. The Ducks grabbed the rebound, and with no time outs left, set a high ball screen for Brooks who hit the game-winner.
Oregon fans then rushed the court thinking that the game was over as the clock ran out. However the referees, after consulting the monitor put 0.8 seconds back on the clock. UCLA could just throw a desperation heave which didn’t have a chance. If the fans rushed the court while there was still time on the clock there would have been a technical foul called on Oregon. But in this case the clock ran out and the officials put the additional time on the clock after that point.
Brooks led the Ducks with 23 points but was over-aggressive at times and took 20 shots. He was only 2-of-8 from distance. He led Oregon with nine rebounds. 6-9 Jordan Bell (13 points, seven rebounds) played exceptionally well, making two strong tip-ins, hitting a key three-pointer (only his third of the season) and blocked a Welch jumper. The freshman Pritchard had his best game of the year, scoring 15 points on 3-of-5 from long distance and dishing out nine assists against only one turnover.
Welch (20 points, 10 rebounds), Alford (20 points on 6-of-10 3s), Ball (14 points, six assists) and Leaf (13 points five rebounds) were all impressive for the Bruins. 6-10 freshman Ike Anigbogu provided offense off the bench scoring nine points in 11 minutes on 4-of-4 shooting.
The first half was played at a very high level as Oregon went into halftime with a 52-47 lead. Welch, who missed UCLA’s last four games with a bruised knee, came out strong scoring the first eight Bruin points. The game was tied at 8 and at 18 before Oregon took a lead they didn’t relinquish for the rest of the half. They extended the lead to 12 points at 49-37 before UCLA cut the lead to five helped by a flagrant foul called against 6-10 Kavell Bigby-Williams.
Freshman point guard Prichard was impressive for the Ducks in the first half scoring eight points on 3-of-4 shooting including two 3s. Brooks led Oregon at the half with 12 points. Welch led the Bruins with 12 points on perfect shooting, 4-of-4 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the foul line. Oregon shot 7-of-14 on three-pointers including two from Casey Benson.
This article was written by Carl Berman, Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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