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Ducks Go Cold Late, Lose to UCLA

Winnable Game Slips Away from Ducks

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at UCLA Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon’s offense fell apart late and the Ducks scored only 2 points over the last 4 minutes as UCLA pulled away to win 65 - 56. N’Faly Dante spent most of the first half on the bench with 2 early fouls, and Oregon could not find a way to break him loose inside in the 2nd half. Oregon again committed double digits in turnovers, leading to plenty of easy baskets for the Bruins, and allowed too many second chance points. Quincy Guerrier suffered what looked like a catastrophic ankle injury late in the first half and was helped to the locker room, but soon returned although he was hobbled at times in the second half.



The game opened on a rough note for Oregon as Guerrier was knocked to the court by a UCLA player and called for traveling. UCLA moved out to a 4 - 0 lead before a lob to Dante and his dunk gave Oregon its first points. The Ducks got it going, moving out to a 9 - 4 lead at 14:45 on a Will Richardson, Jr 3-pointer and a Guerrier basket inside. A Guerrier 3 gave Oregon a 12 - 6 lead, but UCLA used a series of favorable calls from the officials - including Oregon offensive fouls on back-to-back possessions - free throws and some mid-range jumpers to close to 14 - 13 with 8:50 left in the half. Guerrier went down and had his ankle landed on by a UCLA player in an awkward position with 6:11 left and had to be helped into the locker room. Given Oregon’s long injury list so far this season, one might have expected the worst, but Guerrier returned to the bench - and then the court - after only about 3 minutes of game time. By the time he returned, Oregon had cranked up its half-court defense and had found a little of its touch on the offensive end and outscored the Bruins 8 - 2 to lead 24 - 17 at 4:16. Points in this run came from Lok Wur, Brennan Rigsby on a follow-on dunk, Richardson and Kel’el Ware inside.

Neither team was very effective offensively for the remainder of the half, however, with the Bruins holding only a 4 - 3 edge through the buzzer sounding. Oregon held a 27 - 21 lead going into the halftime break.

For the half, Guerrier led Oregon with 10 points, and Richardson scored 5. Dante played only a few minutes and scored only 2 points. Wur had 5 rebounds off the bench. Richardson had 3 assists, but 2 turnovers. Oregon shot 52.5 percent from the field including 33.3 percent from beyond the arc and just 1 - 3 on free throws. UCLA was 0 - 7 from the 3-point line, but due to Oregon turnovers and lack of rebounding, took 10 more shots from the field than the Ducks in the half. but made 2 fewer baskets.


The Bruins came out of the halftime break fired up and quickly tied the game at 31 at 17:47. UCLA had two 3-pointers, a layup and a dunk on a runout after an Oregon turnover during this sequence. Oregon did manage to get the ball inside to Dante for an easy hoop as well. The Bruins made up for their poor first-half shooting, scoring more points in the first 7 minutes of the second half than they had in the entirety of the first half. Oregon kept up, however, and despite the improvement UCLA could build only a 44 - 41 lead at 13:17 after another Guerrier 3-pointer.

Oregon retook the lead at 45 - 44 on a Guerrier basket at 11:48. The Oregon advantage was short-lived as UCLA regained the lead at 49 - 47 at 8:32 and extended it to 55 - 50 at 5:18 as Oregon began having trouble holding on to the ball and going cold from outside. The Bruins continued to have good success on the offensive glass, having scored 13 second chance points. Oregon managed to close the game to 55 - 54 on an inside hoop from Dante and 2 free throws by Wur. But UCLA would go on a 10 - 2 run over the last 4:22 to pull away for the win.

Oregon looked pretty good for much of the game, but the early foul trouble for Dante disrupted what the Ducks had hoped to do on the offensive end of the floor. Dante never really got into a rhythm in the 2nd half, making several uncharacteristic turnovers near the basket and scoring only 9 points for the game. Oregon simply gave up too many second chance opportunities - UCLA took 15 more shots from the field than Oregon managed. The Ducks continued their poor-to-streaky 3-point shooting, dropping off as the game went on to just 25.7 percent for the game from beyond the arc and were 4 - 7 on free throws. Despite having Dante, Ware and Wur on the floor together at times in the 2nd half, UCLA outrebounded the Ducks 36 - 25. The Bruins scored 44 points in the 2nd half after being held to just 21 in the first half.

For the game, Guerrier led the Ducks with 15 points and Richardson had 13, down from his recent average. Wur had 6 rebounds and Dante 5. Richardson led the Ducks with 5 assists, but also had 5 turnovers, as did Dante.

Oregon (4-5) is now off until next Saturday, December 10 when they will face the Nevada Wolfpack at 4:00 pm in the first of a series of 4 home games before the Christmas break.