LOS ANGELES — The Oregon men's basketball team dropped a second heartbreaker in three days Saturday, falling 86-78 to UCLA in overtime.
Two days after losing on a buzzer-beater at USC, the Ducks rallied to force overtime against the Bruins but never led in the extra five minutes. "We just didn't get it done," UO coach Dana Altman said. "I thought we played hard, although we did get beat on the boards (46-37), which is disappointing. We just had a couple possessions where we didn't get it done."
How It Happened: After trailing by 11 midway through the second half, the Ducks picked up their defense and rallied to force overtime. But Prince Ali opened the scoring in the final five minutes with a three-pointer, and the Bruins led the rest of the way. UCLA scored seven straight to go up 81-73, and though Oregon rallied within three after a three-pointer by Elijah Brown and a basket by MiKyle McIntosh, a potential game-tying three by Paul White was off and UCLA iced it from the free-throw line.
Down five at the half, Oregon rallied within two at 50-48 on two Payton Pritchard free throws. UCLA (19-8, 10-5) then scored nine straight, but momentum turned when Bruins point guard Aaron Holiday picked up his fourth foul. With Holiday on the bench, the Ducks (17-10, 7-7) scored 13 straight and took the lead 61-59 on a basket by Brown. The rest of regulation stayed tight, with McIntosh spinning to the hoop for a game-trying basket to make it 71-71 in the final minute.
Oregon jumped out to a quick lead early in the game, thanks to consecutive threes by Brown and a jumper by Pritchard for a 14-8 lead. McIntosh hit a tie-breaking three to put the Ducks up 20-17, but they missed another chance to take the lead when Pritchard made only 1-of-2 free throws to tie it 31-31. That was one of five missed free throws in regulation on 10 attempts by the Ducks, who came into the night leading the Pac-12 in free-throw shooting at 77.9 percent.
Who Stood Out: Pritchard made 7-of-16 shots for a team-high 23 points, and added five assists with one turnover. McIntosh and Brown added 19 points each, and McIntosh grabbed nine rebounds. Payton and Brown combined for 21 of Oregon school-record tying 39 three-point field goal attempts. Troy Brown Jr. went 2-of-11 shooting but dished out seven assists, had four steals and grabbed eight rebounds.
What It Means: The Ducks came to Los Angeles looking to get two wins that would get them into NCAA Tournament consideration. Now they face an uphill battle to doing so in the regular season, and could need an extended run in the conference tournament.
Up Next: The Ducks return home to face Arizona State on Thursday (8:30 p.m., FS1).
Courtesy: UO Athletics (goducks.com)