Rich Kolbell

Ducks open the conference season with a big win.

EUGENE,ORE. -- The No. 21 Oregon Ducks welcomed the No. 2 UCLA Bruins to a sold out Matthew Knight Arena to open up Pac-12 Conference play on Wednesday night. Not only did Dillon Brooks hit the game winning shot with 0.8 seconds left he also lead the team with 23 points, nine rebounds, four assists and one steal in the 89-87 victory.

“Payton hit a big shot as well putting us even closer,” Dillon Brooks said of Payton Pritchard's 3-point shot. “I didn’t have the first shot but Jordan, very unselfish player, gave a screen and that opened me up.”

Oregon got out to a hot start shooting almost 88 percent from the field in the first half behind Brooks who tallied 12 of his 23 points. Pritchard and Dylan Ennis also had a big first half scoring eight points each.

Oregon got into some trouble in the second half falling behind the Bruins by eight points with just over three minutes remaining in the game but Chris Boucher hit one of his biggest three point shots of his career, pulling the Ducks to within five points, 77-82.

“We still got to keep going, you know fight,” Brooks talking about the Bruins 15-0 run in the second half. “Coach (Dana Altman) says everyday ten up ten down, twenty up twenty down, you got to keep fighting.”

With 16 seconds left and trailing 87-83 to the Bruins, Pritchard was able to launch a 3-point shot that put the Ducks down 87-86, on the ensuing position Bryce Alford was fouled and missed the first shot of his one-and-one which allowed Brooks to rush up the floor and sink the game winning shot with 0.08 seconds left.

“He [Brooks] didn’t have the shot, so he swung it to me and I let it go.” Pritchard said of the 3-pointer that cut UCLA’s lead to one.

After Brooks hit the leading and eventually winning 3-point shot, fans started rushing the court and Brooks was tackled by former high school football player and current teammate Jordan Bell in front of the student section known as the Pit Crew.

“I didn’t want to get tackled and I was running away from it.” Brooks after his game winning shot. “Jordan tackled me and he should be a linebacker on Oregon football.”

Oregon had four other players finish in double-digit scores: Pritchard finished with 15 points, two rebounds, nine assists and one steal; Bell had 13 points, seven rebounds, one steal and one block; Tyler Dorsey racked up 11 points, one rebound and two assists and Ennis ended his night with 10 points and five rebounds.

The Bruins didn’t back down after trailing 52-47 at the half as they opened up the second half with six quick points coming by 3-point shots from Alford and big man T.J. Leaf.

Just after hitting the midway mark of the second half Lonzo Ball started stroking the ball from beyond the arc giving the Bruins total control.

The Ducks had a hard time stopping the 7-foot-0 Thomas Welsh who ended the night with 20 points. Welsh shot 8-of-11 from the field and a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line. He also gathered 10 rebounds giving him a double-double.

Alford also finished the night with 20 points, four rebounds, one assist and one blocked shot. Alford kept the Bruins in the game with his great 3-point shooting ability as he connected on 6-of-10.

The Bruins had two other players reach double figures in scoring with Ball leading the way with 14 points, three rebounds, six assists and one block. Leaf contributed 13 points, five rebounds, one assist and one block but it just wasn’t enough to secure the win.

Up Next: No. 21 Oregon Ducks host No. 22 USC Trojans on December 30th, 2017 at Matthew Knight Arena at 7p.m. PST on FS1.

Official Box Score from GoDucks.com

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