Takeaways from UCLA's basketball victory over Oregon State

UCLA had a strong second half and defeated the Beaver by a final score of 71-63 to win their fourth game out of their last five tries.
Feb 1, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Lazar Stefanovic (10) celebrates
Feb 1, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Lazar Stefanovic (10) celebrates / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA is now 5-5 in conference play and is in a three way tie for sixth place with Utah and Arizona State in the Pac-12 standings.

Final. 63. 516. UCLA defeats Oregon State. 71. 518

UCLA's veterans stepped up:
Trio leads the Bruins: Adem Bona, Dylan Andrews, and Lazar Stefanovic combined for 51 points, carrying the offensive in their win against the Beavers.
Confident continue to grow: This win highlights the importance of not relaying on the true freshmen especially on offense, as the confidence of the UCLA players continues to grow with each win.

Defense wins games:
Holding off a late charge: Despite Oregon State closing the gap later in the game as the Beavers pulled within four points midway in the second half, UCLA's defense tightened up to secure the victory.
Rebounding advantage: The Bruins dominated the boards (36-25) especially on the offensive glass, giving them extra chances and limiting Oregon State's second-chance opportunities.

Continued Pac-12 improvement:
Reaching .500 in conference: This win brings UCLA's Pac-12 record to 5-5, putting them back in the middle of the conference race with some winnable games coming up through out the month.
Fourth win in five games: This victory is part of a recent hot streak, showcasing the team's growing momentum as they are continuing to win close, hard fought games in conference play.

Challenges remain:
Shooting struggles outside the top scorers: While the veteran trio performed well, UCLA needs more consistent scoring from the freshmen players. True freshmen Brandon Williams and Sebastian Mack who both started this game combined for only seven points and two other freshmen in
Berke Buyuktuncel and Aday Mara combined for only five points as well.
Maintaining consistency: With a tough conference schedule ahead, consistency will be key for UCLA's success as they most continue winning games in Pac-12 play.

Overall Takeaway:
This win was another positive step for UCLA, showing that this team has not given up on the season and their defensive grit continues to allow them to win close games. However, challenges remain, and consistent performance will be crucial for their continued success in the Pac-12 and they need to continue to win games moving forward, especially at home..

What's Next:

Saturday, Feb 3. Pauley Pavilion. ESPN2. UCLA vs. Oregon. 10-11. 518. 7 PM PT. 15-6. 515

Next. UCLA winning. UCLA and other looking to have a great February. light