Oregon was up on UCLA 74-65 with 58 seconds left. The game was seemed over and fans headed for the exits. That was until UCLA decided to play perfect basketball.
The Bruins, who had just five three pointers all game, hit three 3-pointers and four free throws to score outscore the Ducks 15-6 in the final minute of the game and send it to overtime. The nine point comeback inside a minute is the largest in Pac-12 history and it ties the sixth-largest deficit overcome in Division I history.
Despite the huge comeback, Oregon still had a chance to win the game, with UCLA not scoring for the first two minutes and 17 seconds of overtime. But, just like in regulation, the Ducks could not finish the Bruins, allowing Prince Ali to score four of the seven points UCLA needed.
The Oregon men’s basketball team (9-6) lost to the UCLA Bruins (10-7) 87-84 in overtime after blowing a nine point lead with under a minute to play and a 17 point lead with just under seven minutes remaining.
Overall, Ali, 22 points on 7-10 shooting, and Jaylen Hands, 16 points, teamed up to lead the comeback, scoring 10 of the 15 points that got the game to overtime.
“Well, no easy way to spin that one,” head coach Dana Altman said. “That’s a gut-punch. We had our opportunities. … Defensively, we gave up some uncontested threes that allowed them to get back in it.”
Although Oregon forced the Bruins to turn the ball over 23 times, UCLA still came away with the win thanks to its 51 rebounds. UCLA is now 3-1 when committing over 20 turnovers, with its only loss coming against Liberty (former head coach Steve Alford’s last game).
“That’s what kept us in it,” Altman said. “We wanted to be active and get them to make mistakes and I thought our activity was really good.”
Even though the result leaned in UCLA’s favor, Oregon had three players hit season highs in points: Victor Bailey Jr., 20 points, Louis King, 22 points, and Paul White, 16 points. The Ducks top-six scorers finished in the negatives in plus/minus.
“I thought we did a good job of making plays for each other, but we had some really silly turnovers that really hurt us,” Altman said.
White and King scored 14 of the Ducks’ first 18 points and a 14 point spurt by Bailey Jr. helped the Ducks take a 24-11 run which helped give them a comfortable lead.
King, fresh off a career-high 17 point performance against Oregon State, utilized a strong three-point performance (4-of-9 shooting) to crack 20 points for the first time in his career. His 10 rebounds also earned him his second straight double-double.
“[King]’s playing really good,” Altman said. “I thought he did a lot of good things tonight.”
Oregon will have a couple days to regroup before retaking the court to take on 9-6 USC.
“They played their tails off for 30, 35 minutes and we didn’t get it done,” Altman said. “They’re down. We’re just gonna have to bounce back. I’m glad we have two days. We’re gonna have to get our heads together and figure out a way to get back up.”
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter@mavpallack