Saturday, March 16, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Oregon 78, UCLA 69
By Peter Yoon
The Oregon Ducks won their first Pac-12 tournament championship since 2007 with a 78-69 victory over the UCLA Bruins on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A quick breakdown:
How it happened: UCLA (25-9) was within two points at 54-52 with 12:07 to play, but following a UCLA timeout the Ducks (25-8) went on an 8-1 run for a 62-53 lead with 10:01 to play. UCLA did not get any closer than four points after that.
Arsalan Kazemi scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, including seven in the final 12:42 as Oregon held off any run UCLA made. The Bruins, who came back from double-digit deficits in each of their previous two games of the tournament, appeared to have one last run when Shabazz Muhammad scored to cut the Oregon lead to 68-62 with 5:08 to play. But Larry Drew missed a shot, Travis Wear failed on a dunk attempt and the Ducks held on.
Oregon had 10 first-half turnovers, but the Bruins could not take advantage, scoring only five points off those turnovers. The Bruins forged an early 14-6 lead, but the Ducks caught fire from behind the arc, as Damyean Dotson, Johnathan Loyd and Carlos Emory combined to make 3-pointers on four consecutive Oregon possessions. That trio of Ducks combined to go 7-of-9 on 3-point attempts over the final 12:25 of the first half as Oregon took a 41-30 halftime lead.
Players of the game: Loyd and Emory combined for 39 points off the bench for Oregon. Emory, who averages 11.2 points, had 20 points and Loyd, who averages 4.1 points, had 19. Loyd made 8 of 14 shots and Emory made 6 of 14.
Stat of the game: The Bruins, who have shot 72.7 percent from the free throw line for the season, made only 13 of 22 (59 percent) in the nine-point loss to Oregon.
What it means: The defeat, coupled with the loss of Jordan Adams to a broken foot, means UCLA will probably not get to play as close to home in the NCAA tournament as the Bruins had hoped. They will likely be seeded No. 5 or No. 6. Oregon got a nice résumé-boosting win, but probably can’t hope for much more than a No. 7 or No. 8 seeding.
What’s next: The teams will return home to await their NCAA tournament fate. The selections will be revealed Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.