No lead is safe for Oregon head coach Dana Altman. In the last two games, the Ducks have been unable to hold the lead and came away on the losing end.
With a healthy lead heading into the stretch, UCLA made their move, causing anxiety amongst the Ducks’ bench and fans in attendance at Matthew Knight Arena. Coach Altman could not breathe easy until the final buzzer.
UCLA, down by double-digits, got within one point with under two minutes to play in regulation. An unnecessary foul by the Bruins on Troy Brown proved critical as he would make his ensuing free throws to extend the lead to three.
The Bruins could not muster enough offense as the Ducks ended a two-game losing streak while handing their opponent a third consecutive defeat.
Victor Bailey Jr. tied a career-high with 18 points as his presence paced Oregon early. Payton Pritchard led the Ducks in scoring with 25 points, going 5-8 from behind the arc. MiKyle McIntosh also added 18 and freshman, Troy Brown, chipped in 17 points.
UCLA’s leading scorer on the season, Aaron Holiday, could not get going offensively. The Bruins struggled to find consistency, shooting only 43 percent in the first quarter. Holiday would make his first field goal halfway through the second half and finished with 14 points.
Kris Wilkes led the Bruins with 21 points on the night, and Thomas Welsh put in 17 points. The Bruins would finish shooting 52 percent from the floor, but a rough start ultimately proved too much to overcome.
The Ducks got off on the right foot, controlling the flow of the game and building a lead. Coach Dana Altman had previously seen his side play from behind early and saw an improved beginning. By halftime, the Ducks built a 52-38 advantage over the Bruins, shooting 56 percent from the floor.
Oregon’s flow was crisp while UCLA looked slow moving down the court, only shooting 43 percent in the first half. The Ducks did not commit a single turnover in the first half compared to the Bruins’ nine which affected their play.
Coach Altman recorded his 200th win as head coach at Oregon. The win gave Oregon a series split at home against the Los Angeles schools. Oregon lost to USC back on Thursday.
Oregon returns to action next Saturday for the Civil War matchup at home against Oregon State. Tipoff begins at 5:00 p.m. with a telecast on Pac-12 Networks.