The Bruins (21-6 and 10-4 in Pac-12) took on the Oregon Ducks (18-8 and 6-8 in Pac-12) at Pauley Pavilion in what shaped up to be a fairly easy win for the Bruins going into Thursday afternoon. Then the news broke of the suspension of Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams for 1 game by Coach Steve Alford. The details were not (and likely will not) be released outside of "team rules" being cited in the press.
Without Anderson and Adams, Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine entered the starting lineup for the Bruins, leaving UCLA with essentially no bench whatsoever.
The game began with Joseph Young and Zach LaVine trading buckets for three possessions and then Oregon making another shot on the way to a 6-3 Oregon lead entering the first TV timeout. The first five minutes were quick paced without a lot of made shots (UCLA 1-6, Oregon 3-8) and just one turnover by Oregon.
Tony Parker entered the game out of the break and quickly got to the line, making 1 out of 2 shots, then Travis Wear made a jumper to tie it up at 6. Oregon quickly responded with back-to-back 3's aided by a turnover by LaVine to regain the lead at 12-6 before LaVine made a long 2 (foot on the line, worst shot in basketball) to slow the momentum before the 2nd TV timeout.
Wannah Bail got extremely rare first half minutes out of the break, as Alford made a 3 to make it just a one-point game at 12-11. A jumper by Oregon, sandwiched between 4 straight missed free throws, kept it 14-11 at the halfway point in the 1st.
Noah Allen also entered the game, getting his own rare meaningful minutes, but his entrance was quickly dulled by Alford getting ripped in the open court by Dominic Artis. This stretch of game was reminiscent of a game at your local YMCA: lots of fast breaks followed by missed open layups and contested shots and interrupted by an occasional hard foul.
After a foul by Alford, Oregon finally converted a pair of foul shots, then got the 3rd three-pointer of the game by Jason Calliste to take a 19-11 lead into the 3rd TV timeout with 7:56 left.
Norman Powell made 1 out of 2 foul shots out of the break for his first points of the game and LaVine poked away an in-bounds pass which led to a missed jumper by Alford, a solid offensive board by Tony Parker ruined with a weak putback attempt that missed.
Zach LaVine dished to Noah Allen twice on wide, wide, wide, wide open 3's on one possession and Allen missed both badly, which was not the case for Oregon's Joseph Young as he made 2 straight 3's, pushing the Ducks' lead to 25-16, as Alford made two free throws in between.
After another Calliste 3, Bryce Alford stayed hot, making a 3 on the next possession to get it 28-19 at the last TV timeout of the first half.
The half closed with some back and forth (mostly non-) scoring, before Oregon went on a 6-3 run to end things in the 1st at 37-25 (with Noah Allen converting a nice reverse layup in the closing seconds).
UCLA's shooting woes were the story of the first half, making 8-26 (30.8%) and were out-rebounded by 7 (24-17). Oregon only got 14 points from their starting 5 and only had 4 players score, but with Calliste and Richard Amandi almost outscoring UCLA by themselves (25-23) they didn't need much else. Former Bruin Mike Moser out-rebounded 7 Bruins combined with his 10 boards in the first.
Somehow, in the absence of UCLA's two leading scorers, the 3rd leading scorer (Norman Powell) did not take a shot in the first half. Bryce Alford was really the only bright spot in the first, though Travis Wear played fine. LaVine shot poorly (2-7), David Wear and Norman Powell were near invisible, Tony Parker got manhandled whenever the ball got into his hands and Noah Allen's 3-point shooting showed why he's been a non-factor in the rotation this season.
Mike Moser started the 2nd half scoring with a 3, as UCLA missed their first two shots. Bryce Alford made a 3 of his own, followed by a pair of free throws by Travis Wear to make it a 10 point game at 40-30.
LaVine and Moser traded shots (Moser took 4 of Oregon's first 6 shots) and then LaVine and Amandi traded layups before Powell got fouled and made both to make it a 7 point game at 44-37. Oregon responded with a 7-0 run to make it ten again at 51-37. Bryce Alford broke the 4+ minute scoring drought by the Bruins with a jump shot and got an assist to Powell on the next trip down to make it a 10 point game again with under 10 minutes to go.
That layup by Powell seemed to wake up UCLA's best player on the court with Anderson and Adams out, as he went on his own personal 7-0 run with 2 rebounds filtered in to make the score 51-46 with 8 minutes to go.
An Oregon 3 was answered by another Powell jumper, his 9th straight UCLA point. Traded jumpers by Joseph Young and David Wear kept it a 6 point game at the 5 minute mark. A Zach LaVine And-1 made it a 3-point game at 56-53. A Moser dunk to it back to 5, then the two teams traded missed jump shots into the last TV timeout with 3:02 left in the game.
A bad foul by Jonathan Loyd on Bryce Alford gave UCLA 3 free throws, all of which Alford drained making it a two point game when UCLA should have had no chance to get back in this one.
Young (on a hell of a drive) and Powell traded layups to keep it at 2 points but a 5th 3-pointer made by Calliste drained the remaining life out of the Bruins, making it 63-58 with 1:43 left.
UCLA had to go into foul mode after that, but it seemed like too big a deficit to overcome, despite some late heroics by Bryce Alford (12 points in the last 3 minutes) with the Bruins seeming done with a 69-68 deficit with 1 second left and Oregon having the ball. Oregon made both foul shots to make it 71-71.
But then, David Wear somehow got WIDE OPEN and Travis Wear found him off of the in-bounds pass and Wear drained a 3 to tie it and go to overtime.
The only points in the first three minutes of the first overtime were two foul shots by Alford (his 9th and 10th free throws of the game). It looked like two points might be enough until Alford turned the ball over with 1:36 to go and Joseph Young converted on the fast break lay up to tie it a 73.
In the last 1:20 of the first overtime, Alford missed a three, LaVine missed a jumper and Oregon missed two three-point shots and neither team could score, so the game went to a 2nd OT period.
Alford scored the first points again in the 2nd OT and making it 75-73, as Oregon's Richard Amandi fouled out. Oregon missed two more 3-point shots on the next possession, as UCLA's rebounding really struggled late in the game but the Ducks couldn't capitalize.
The Ducks got on the board in 2OT with two free throws by Elgin Cook after David Wear got called. Powell got swatted on a drive on the offensive end before Young made a 3-pointer, that was quickly answered by Alford on an assist by Norman Powell, making it 78-77 with 2 minutes to go.
Mike Moser made it a 3-point game with a jumper, making it a 3-point game at 80-77. Travis Wear made it a 1-point game with a jumper out of a UCLA timeout and the Bruins needed a stop on defense. Wear fouled Moser, who missed 1 of 2, making it a 81-79 game.
Though he had an unbelievable game, Bryce Alford couldn't convert on a layup with 34 seconds left. A pair of Oregon free throws made it 83-79, but Oregon was called for a homer-ish foul to give LaVine a pair of foul shots, but Oregon did not choke this time, closing out the game 7 straight made free throws and winning the game 87-83.
Huge props to Bryce Alford in this game, with an unreal 31 points on 7-17 shooting, but making 12-13 free throws and 5 three pointers. Zach LaVine has a nice stat line (18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists), but an uneven performance to the eye test.
UCLA's starters destroyed Oregon's starting five at a 79-48 clip, but the bench scoring was even more drastic of a difference at 39-4 in favor of Oregon. With how poorly Oregon played (shooting a lower percentage than UCLA at 38%), this should have still been a win for the Bruins regardless of the absence of Anderson and Adams. Some questionable decisions (where was Tony Parker in OT, how did it take 10 seconds to foul the Ducks at the end of the 2nd half, where was Norman Powell in the game outside of a dominant 2 minute stretch) were too much for a shorthanded Bruins team to overcome.
Former Bruin Mike Moser had a crazy 20 rebounds for the Ducks, Jason Calliste scored 18 off the bench and Joseph Young led Oregon in scoring with 26.
The Bruins now head into their weekend matchup against Oregon State at 21-7 (10-5 in Pac-12) and need a victory to stay a game ahead of the rest of the conference for 2nd place in the conference.