A few hours before tip-off, news came out that UCLA has suspended superstars Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams for the game. For whatever reason, that put this game into serious jeopardy.
Both Anderson and Adams lead UCLA in various stats, so their absence meant that points, rebounds and steals to be need to made by the rest of the team.
It seemed inevitable that UCLA (21-7, 10-5) would lose to Oregon (19-8, 7-8), and they did, 87-83, but not before putting up a fight and sending the game into double-overtime.
The first half did not disappoint in that aspect. The Bruins could barely make anything, even simple lay-ups, which were missed by the barrel load. UCLA shot 31% percent and did it ever hurt them. At halftime, the Ducks lead 37-25.
Oregon head coach Dana Altman did a good job attacking the Anderson/Adams-less Bruins, at first.
Inbound passes were being pressured, the Duck’s defense kept pestering the Bruin ball handlers and basically kept UCLA from doing anything constructive. Despite that, Oregon had a pretty bad game overall.
UCLA was bad in stretches with their slapdash roster, but Oregon just seems downright horrible at times. For the game, Oregon went 38.1% from the field as UCLA tallied 39.4%. You have the UCLA comeback to thank for that one.
The second-half was better for UCLA as they managed to creep back into the game. UCLA had several opportunities to take over, but inexperience had the best of them.
UCLA had a chance to take the lead when down 69-68 in the final four seconds of regulation after Oregon’s Jonathan Lloyd turned the ball over in the Bruin’s side of the court. An open but errant three-point attempt by Zach LaVine bounced out into Duck hands and a foul sent Oregon’s Joseph Young to the line. He then made the two free throws with 1.3 seconds left. Do think that mattered to the Bruins? It certainly did not matter to UCLA’s David Wear.
Capitalizing on some horrible Duck defense, UCLA sent the ball past half-court to an open Wear who went untouched by the oncoming Oregon defender, and hit the game tying three-pointer sending to overtime.
Down 3 with 1.3 seconds left, David Wear sent UCLA into overtime against Oregon http://t.co/uglPUzb5yx
— SB Nation (@sbnation) February 28, 2014
The half empty Pauley Pavilion was doubly loud.
The first overtime had no passion from either team, who both managed to score only two points each and send it to 2OT.
The second overtime seemed to inject some energy into both teams who were more active. Ultimately, it was Oregon who came out on top, outscoring the Bruins 14-10 in the last five minutes.
Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, do you see what could’ve been?
No loss is good, especially since this actually clinched the top spot for Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament., but what was very impressive was how the guys that don’t usually do much on a consistent basis, stepped up to make this a contest. Aside from the Arizona and USC games, this was the third most exciting game at Pauley this year.
Credit is especially is due to both Zack LaVine and Bryce Alford. LaVine was the only Bruin to score at times and finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Alford put in a career high 31 points of his own. This loss hurts, but I tell you what, the future is bright at UCLA. Now to focus on the Sunday battle against Oregon State in the final home game of the season at Pauley Pavilion.