Oregon’s woes occurred about half way through the second half after looking like the game would be a route. Leading 64-49 at the 13:53 mark of the second half, Jordan Bell went to the free throw for two shots but missed. From that point on, the Bruins steadily chipped away at Oregon’s lead behind solid shooting from Aaron Holiday, Lonzo Ball and Thomas Welsh. The Bruins also stepped up the defensive pressure and Oregon seemed to be unable to find an open shot.
While Oregon was missing shots, UCLA was hitting; in the first half the Bruins also shot 50 percent from the field as the Ducks had, but Oregon made 6-of-15 3-pointers of the total 19-of-38 shots. UCLA shot 15-of-30 including hitting five 3-pointers. In the second half however, 17-of-30 shots including four 3-pointers. Meanwhile the Ducks cooled off hitting only 10-of-30 shots, including 5-of-10 3-pointers.
The Bruins kept the Ducks off the offensive boards by pulling down 25 rebounds to Oregon’s 17.
The Ducks had chances as they took care of handling the ball as evidenced by only committing three turnovers for the entire game; UCLA had a total of 10 rebounds.
As the second half wore on and the UCLA home crowd became more frenzied by a comeback, the Ducks seemed not to find a player willing to take a shot. Much of that had to do with good, solid defense by the Bruins, something they have not been known for this season, but with the chance of staying in the race for the conference crown, the home crowd’s enthusiasm seemed to propel UCLA forward.
The Bruins took the lead for good with 4:01 left in the contest when Holiday hit a 3-pointer giving UCLA a 72-70 lead. From that point on the Bruins increased the lead to five, but Oregon kept hitting shots, primarily led by freshman guard Payton Pritchard, who scored seven of Oregon’s last nine points. Pritchard finished the game with 13 points.
For the game Oregon shot 42.0 percent on 29-of-69 shooting from the field including 12-of-33 3-pointers. The Ducks also missed some valuable free throws going 9-of-14 from the charity stripe.
The Bruins improved to 22-3 for the season and 9-3 in conference play.
Oregon moves on to play USC on Saturday in a game that will broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks with tip off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific.)
Official Box Score from GoDucks.com