Oregon didn’t lead for the majority of the game, but it did push the clock into its first overtime of the season.
Yet, Oregon didn’t win, UCLA did.
On Saturday night at the Pauley Pavilion, the Ducks fell victim to their ongoing battle with inconsistency as they lost to the UCLA Bruins 86-78 in overtime, leaving the Los Angeles road trip 0-2.
The game began with a strong Oregon presence in the first 10 minutes. Oregon forward Troy Brown Jr. stole the ball after a Bruin-won tip-off. He ran it down for a layup and got Oregon on the board first.
But the Ducks’ drive soon slowed after a 3-pointer from UCLA Bruin Prince Ali made the way for a six-point UCLA lead.
The Ducks ended the first half five under the Bruins, 35-40.
The second half wouldn’t start for the Ducks until the 11:45-minute mark when UCLA junior Aaron Holiday took his seat on the Bruin bench with his fourth foul.
It was as if Holiday’s absence recharged the Oregon team. The Ducks went on a 13-point run, starting with back-to-back 3s from MiKyle McIntosh and Payton Pritchard. Another 3 from Elijah Brown tied the game at 59-59.
The Ducks reclaimed their lead at 7:41 with a layup from Elijah Brown. Holiday was soon put back in the game, and the Bruins started to regain control.
After switching back-and-forth leading points, a McIntosh layup tied the game at 71 with 49 seconds left. The two battled it out, attempting shots on both sides as the clock ran out and overtime was declared.
In overtime, this time the Bruins would be the first to score. Another 3-pointer from Ali at the 3:51 mark sparked a UCLA surge.
Oregon only made three baskets in overtime. Those seven points did not hold up against the Bruins’ 10-2 point run as they claimed the victory with an eight-point deficit.
Pritchard led the Ducks with 23 points and five assists. Following him was Elijah Brown and McIntosh each with 19 points. Troy Brown Jr. ended with eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
The Ducks will return home to Eugene and play the Arizona State Sun Devils at Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 8:30 p.m.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter: @maggie_vanoni