It wasn’t even semi-visually pleasing, but the Oregon Ducks(19-8, 7-8) sneaked by the UCLA Bruins(21-7, 10-5) 87-83 at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles in double overtime, despite a deep game tying three-pointer by F Travis Wear facilitated by a full court pass from brother F David Wear to send the game into overtime.
With all the talk about whether G Damyean Dotson would be permitted to play, it was UCLA’s go-to-guys, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, who were suspended for the game for violating team rules.
With UCLA sans considerable firepower, Oregon took full advantage in the first half. Within the first few minutes, UO G Joseph Young easily broke down backup Bruins guards and waltzed into the paint for easy lay-ins. To counter, UCLA coach Steve Alford switched to a 2-3 zone.
Though it stymied the Ducks for a few minutes, UO got back to its roots and started dropping bombs from beyond the arc. In fact, G Jason Calliste went 4-4 in half one, hitting multiple three-pointers that would also count as three’s at the Staples Center and Young added two three’s of his own.
On the other end, though PG Bryce Alford and G Zach LaVine hit a few outside shots, UCLA’s paint presence was nonexistent. UCLA did not convert a single field goal in the sky blue colored portion of the floor(the paint) until there was just eight seconds left in the first half. UO led 37-25 at halftime.
But after the break, UCLA slowly diminished UO’s lead, eventually only trailing by three points with 4:30 remaining. G Norman Powell, who didn’t even attempt a shot in the first half, repeatedly overpowered UO guards, scoring 14 second after halftime.
However, F Mike Moser followed a missed jumper by F Elgin Cook with a storm crashing put-back jam, punctuated by Moser showcasing his tongue in front of UCLA fans. Then Calliste hit a three-pointer with one second left on the shot clock to give UO a five-point lead with 1:42 remaining.
At the 43 second mark, and UO up 65-60, UCLA was forced to use the full court press. Though the Ducks easily broke the press, Young failed to pass to a wide-open Calliste for an easy lay-up, instead opting to take his chances at the free throw line knowing UCLA needed to foul and, in turn, extend the game. His free throw attempt hit the front end and UCLA raced to UO’s territory where Alford made a three-pointer with 33 second left to cut the lead to 65-63.
After Young knocked down a pair of free throws, Alford’s next three-pointer rattled in-and-out.
But after UCLA fouled him, the normally reliable Calliste missed a pair of free throws. On the other end, Alford took full advantage again, hitting a three with two UO defenders in his face. On the following inbound, Moser couldn’t find anyone open for four seconds. He winded up passing to Loyd along the sidelines. However, the UO PG stepped out of bounds. With 5.2 seconds left, LaVine had a good look at a potential game winner, but his shot hit the back iron. But after another pair of missed free throws by Young, the Wear brothers executed the picturesque game tying play.
The two teams treaded water in the first OT, which ended with a questionable off balance three-point heave by Young, only scoring a bucket each.
In the second OT, UO sealed the victory from the charity strike, making nine free throws. Plus, Young hit a corner three out of an otherwise discombobulated offensive possession to give UO a three-point lead with 2:34 left.
Former UCLA Bruin Moser didn’t tally a single point in the first half, but was a monster on the boards, finishing the game with 20 rebounds, along with 12 points. Young led the Ducks in scoring with 26 points, followed by Calliste, who had 18 points.
Alford, the coach’s son who started because of Anderson’s suspension, scored a career high 31 points and dished out six assists. LaVine, who replaced Adams, finished second on the team with 18 points.
The Ducks will try to add to their four game winning streak against USC on Saturday. It will be UO’s final road game of the regular season and yet another must win game for a team that is tied-for-7th in the Pac-12.