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Ducks Couldn’t Close out and Lose to the Bruins, 87-84

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Oregon Had Win Within Grasp but Handed It Right over to UCLA

The Ducks looked like the dominant team on the floor tonight... for 39 minutes of play. It was more of Oregon losing this game than UCLA winning. Several mistakes were made in the last minute of play while the Ducks gave up a nine-point lead. This was going to be a huge statement win for the Ducks but now, Oregon falls into a hole and drops their first two games of conference play. UCLA (10-6, 3-0) looks like the team to beat in the PAC-12. Bruins have won three straight since Steve Alford has been fired.

Oregon Ducks:

(Starters)

Louis King - 22 Points, 10 Rebounds, 4 Turnovers

Paul White - 16 Points, 4 Steals, 5 Rebounds

Francis Okoro - 5 Points

Victor Bailey Jr. - 20 Points, 5 Rebounds

Payton Pritchard - 4 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Assists

(Reserves)

Ehab Amin - 3 Points, 5 Steals

Miles Norris - 3 Points

Will Richardson - 11 Points, 6 Assists

UCLA Bruins:

(Starters)

Moses Brown - 10 Points, 11 Rebounds

Prince Ali - 22 Points

Chris Smith - 7 Points, 5 Rebounds

Kris Wilkes - 14 Points, 7 Rebounds, 7 Turnovers

Jaylen Hands - 16 Points, 6 Rebounds, 7 Assists, 6 Turnovers

(Reserves)

Jalen Hill - 10 Points, 10 Rebounds

Tonight’s Observations:

  • Abu Kigab is transferring to Boise State. He has to sit out a full year and will have two years of eligibility left. Boise State will be traveling to Oregon next season for a preseason matchup.
  • Kenny Wooten was out once again. Not sure when his return date will be.
  • No rim protection early on from the Ducks. UCLA was throwing lobs with ease throughout the first half.
  • Murry Bartow (interim Head Coach for UCLA) pulled his starters in the middle of the 1st half and it seemed they sat on the bench for quite some time. The Ducks took advantage with a 18-7 run to end the half.
  • Oregon had 9 steals and 19 points of turnovers in twenty minutes of play.
  • The underclassmen had 29 of the 39 1st half points.
  • Ehab Amin had a season-high 5 steals.
  • If Victor Bailey Jr. wants to pick up the slack and be that guy on the offensive end for the Ducks, I’m all for it. Louis King is finding his stride and scoring at will as well.
  • The Bruins were careless with the ball which is quite the opposite of the first two games they played in PAC-12 Play against Stanford and California.
  • Paul White, Victor Bailey, and Louis King had season-high in points.
  • Oregon has had double-digit steals in three straight games.
  • Oregon forced 23 turnovers and scored 32 points off of those turnovers.
  • Ehab Amin needs to learn NOT TO FOUL A JUMP SHOOTER! Those 3 free throws by Hands kept UCLA in the game. Plus, Oregon could have closed it out if they properly boxed out on that missed free throw before Smith’s layup to end the half. Too many mistakes.
  • Overtime was pretty bad on the offensive side for the Ducks. The offense just passed the ball around the three-point line until the shot clock was about to expire and threw up a highly-defended look. A lot of standing around and waiting for something to happen.
  • Pritchard was nowhere to be seen in this one. A leader was needed to step up in the OT period and no one did.
  • Dana Altman needs to start over and fix this offense.

It’s hard to believe Oregon entered this season as a Top 20 team in the nation. Altman can’t seem to find a rotation that fits together and the Ducks just aren’t consistent offensively. Oregon is officially in panic mode. At least this game proved how bizarre and crazy PAC-12 play really is going to be this season.

Next Game - USC @ Oregon (8:00 PM ET, ESPNU) on Sunday, January 13th

*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho