Last night, the Ducks used a scoring run in the second half to defeat the Oregon State Beavers in the opening round of the Pac-12 basketball tournament. On Thursday night, the Ducks simply failed to show up in the second half in an ugly 82-63 loss to the UCLA Bruins.
Joseph Young had another big night for the Ducks with 29 points, but had no help from his teammates. Mike Moser had the second most points for Oregon with only eight points on 3-for-7 shooting. No other Duck scored more than five points.
For the Bruins, five players hit double figures in scoring with Jordan Adams leading the way with 15 points. Travis Wear scored 14 points on the night while Zach LaVine added in 14 points off the bench.
To no surprise, Thursday’s quarterfinal got off to a fast start with both teams coming out pushing the tempo. Oregon and UCLA hit their first five shots combined. After making their first two shots, the Ducks missed six out of their next seven shots, while the Bruins hit three early unguarded shots from beyond the arc to jump out to a 13-7 lead.
With 8:58 left in the first half, the Ducks took their first lead with a steal from Jason Calliste which led to a fast break 3-on-2 layup from Johnathan Loyd to give Oregon a 20-19 lead.
The Ducks were given a couple freebies when UCLA missed out on the chance at four points from the free throw line when both Bryce Alford and Jordan Adams missed the front end of their one-and-one free throws. A layup from Dominic Artis and a pair of free throws gave the Ducks a 29-24 lead with 4:29 to go in the first half, their largest during the first 20 minutes.
Late in the first half, Jason Calliste headed off to the bench after taking a fall a few possessions prior. Trainers worked on his shooting arm. The Ducks have been relatively healthy for the most part, so having to deal with any injuries in the postseason would be a tough blow. Fortunately the Ducks have an extremely deep bench, but Calliste is still a major piece to Oregon’s game plan.
After a three-pointer from Dominic Artis gave Oregon a 32-28 lead, the Bruins went off on a 9-3 scoring run to take a 37-35 lead. The run was capped by an emphatic posterization from Kyle Anderson, dunking over Damyean Dotson to give the Bruins the lead going into the half.
The Ducks came out in the second half looking flat as UCLA continued their scoring run from the first half, scoring six straight points to jump out to a 43-35 lead. The quick start was part of a 12-0 scoring run for the Bruins going back to the 1:34 mark of the first half.
The Ducks finally scored as a jumper from Richard Armardi gave Oregon their first basket since the 1:52 mark in the first half.
A three-pointer from David Wear gave the Bruins their first double-digit lead of the night. The buckets kept on falling for UCLA, and at the first media timeout of the second half, the Bruins had opened up a 55-39 lead as part of a 24-4 scoring run going back to the first half.
Oregon had gone ice cold coming out of the locker room, shooting 2-for-9 while the Bruins shot 8-for-10 to start the second half.
A three-pointer from Norman Powell gave the Bruins a commanding 17-point lead with 12:11 left in the game.
Eventually, the Bruins did cool off when they came up empty on four straight possessions. The Ducks failed to take advantage of the opportunity however as UCLA maintained a comfortable double-digit lead during their cold streak.
UCLA would continue to dominate the half, building their lead to as much as 20. Yes, the Ducks did fall flat after Anderson’s dunk in the first half, but it would’ve been one large task to try and hang with a UCLA team that seemingly could not miss from the field.
Next up for the Ducks is the Big Dance. I don’t think anybody really expected Oregon to win more than a game or two in the conference tournament, even with their winning streak to end the regular season. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Ducks as an 8-seed in the Midwest region facing Oklahoma State in a rematch of last year’s NCAA opening round tournament game in San Jose. But guess who Oregon would face in the second round in Lunardi’s bracket? The undefeated Wichita State Shockers. Oregon’s loss could bump them to a double-digit seed which could give them a more favorable bracket rather than having to play a top seed in the second round if they win their opening game.
Keep an eye out for updated projections as we approach Selection Sunday. In my opinion, an extra two days of rest is going to do this team more good in the NCAA tournament than winning the Pac-12 tournament. Check back over the weekend for full coverage of Oregon’s tournament destiny which will be determined on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. PT on CBS Sports.