The UCLA basketball team’s effort to comeback from 18 down against Oregon fails, and with that, the Bruins’ ability to stay at the top of the Pac-12.
Give the UCLA basketball team credit, they did have five good minutes on their Oregon road trip. Unfortunately it came in the last five minutes of their second game of the trip against the Oregon Ducks.
After an offenseless game against Oregon State, the Bruins also came out flat against Oregon. Once again, UCLA had a more talented roster but could not cultivate any sort of chemistry as the Ducks quacked all over the Bruins’ trip.
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Once again, UCLA allowed several uncontested shots which gave Oregon plenty of chances to build quite the lead. By half time, Oregon had put up 52 points on the Bruins. We know UCLA doesn’t exactly play defense, but in the last three games, which have all been losses, the Bruins have shot extremely poor.
UCLA has lived and died by the 3, and they have pretty much been doornails in the last three games. The Bruins have had some excellent shooting games this season, but we have quickly found out that when those shots do not fall, UCLA does, mostly because there is no backup plan.
Luckily, Oregon seemed to get a bit lax in the second half and allowed an 18-point lead to dwindle down to a one-point lead within a minute left in the game. But the Bruins were not able to take advantage and lost by three.
Because of this, head coach Steve Alford is now back on the hot seat. Just over a week ago, UCLA was sitting pretty at the top of the Pac-12 standings with a half-game lead over Arizona. Three games later, UCLA is 4-4, in 5th place in the conference and 2.5 games behind Arizona who is 6-1 in the Pac-12.
It gets harder for the Bruins in the next few games (and the outlook is not that great). Next week they host the Bay schools, followed by a visit from USC, which is followed by a trip to the state of Arizona. If the Bruins can come away 3-2 in that stretch, that would be a miracle., but do not hold your breath.