The UCLA basketball team is able to hold off the Oregon State Beavers as they avoid another double-digit comeback at Pauley Pavilion. This win keeps UCLA in the hunt for a first-round Pac-12 Tournament bye.
This was a good win. The UCLA basketball team did what the could to secure the victory against one of the hottest teams in the Pac-12 and it paid off in the end.
It was going to take a certain amount of effort to beat the Beavers and the Bruins matched it despite nearly throwing it away. But you have to hand it to UCLA who did not give up. In fact, one of the reasons the Bruins were in this game was because they were hustling and making the effort to keep their team in the game.
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For the most part, UCLA was in control for the majority of the game as the Bruins had the lead for about 90% of the game. A quick start propelled them to a comfortable lead early which was sustained until just under three minutes left in the game. In that time, the Bruins had pushed their lead to as much as 12 as they held the veteran-laden Beavers at bay.
Jaylen Hands and David Singleton (who made his first start of the season in place of the injured Prince Ali) had made a few quick baskets early in the game. Singleton, who has been playing at the top of his game as of late, finished with eight points and three assists.
Hands finished with 12 points and eight assists and was one of five Bruins to score in double figures. Moses Brown had a challenge on his hands trying to defend Oregon State’s leading scorer Tres Tinkle, who added in 19 points, but made a mark of his own as he claimed another double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Though he came on late, Kris Wilkes was able to contribute to the scoring party with 10 points. The Bruins also had an awakening off the bench as Jules Bernard dropped in 10 points and brought down 6 rebounds.
The most surprising scoring surge came from Chris Smith who had one of his best games of the season with 10 points that came at key points in the game. One of the highlights of the game came on the second half when he went right at Oregon State with a monster tomahawk dunk that brought Pauley Pavilion to its feet. He also scored the game-winning layup with 20 seconds left.
This was definitely a satisfying win. After the Bruins gave up a 22-point lead to Utah in their last game at Pauley Pavilion, it felt like the same thing was about to occur against Oregon State. Luckily, UCLA learned from their mistakes and was ready for this late onslaught to get the much-needed victory. They didn’t give up any bad shots, did not make crucial mistakes and got points when they needed to.
It was not pretty, but it was something to build off of. With this win, UCLA is now one game outside that coveted 4th place spot which will get them a bye in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.