Oregon-UCLA Men’s Basketball Game Summary 3-14-24

Round two of the Pac 12 Men’s Tournament pits the #5 seed UCLA Team fresh off a convincing win over #12 Oregon State against the #4 seed Oregon. The question of the day is: Which team will show up – for either school.

UCLA’s Jekyll and Hyde routine makes it almost a coin flip on how they might perform. The Bruins definitely showed up yesterday against Oregon State and in their last meeting with the Ducks. Oregon comes off another 20 win season for Head Coach Dana Altman. Only 4 schools in the country have matched Altman’s win total over his tenure at Oregon. The Ducks likely need to win the Pac 12 Tournament in order to get into the NCAA Tournament, however, you cannot take away how this team has performed despite numerous injuries.

The opening few minutes of the game saw both teams trying to get a feel for how the refs are going to call things. Oregon shot 1-7 from the field in the first 4:30. UCLA opened with a 6-2 lead. Early fouls from Bona and Stefanovic might come into play later. By the 13:54 mark, both had two personal fouls each and had to hit the bench. With both UCLA players on the bench, Oregon didn’t really take advantage of the opportunity.

Both teams traded baskets (and more fouls) and at the 11:59 mark the score was 10-8 in favor of UCLA. At this point in the game, UCLA shot 38% from the floor (3-8) and Oregon shot 25% (3-12). Both teams combined for 0-7 from 3 point range at this point in the game. UCLA had 7 fouls with 11:03 in the half. UCLA also had 0 field goals for 6:46 yet, Oregon could not capitalize on those opportunities.

At 6:58 in the half, Oregon’s Jackson Shelstad hits the first 3 of the game, answered immediately by Sebastian Mack for UCLA at the other end. Both teams went on runs: UCLA would pull ahead by 7 and Oregon would come back to get within 2. Oregon’s N’Faly Dante picked up his second foul with 3:24 in the half with the score 26-22 in favor of UCLA.

Lots of half court offense to close the half and not much scoring as the teams went to the locker room with UCLA up 34-29. Oregon shot 37% from the field in the first half, going 10-27. UCLA finished the half shooting 12-25 for 48%. Both teams ‘improved’ from 3 point range, each going 3-10 for 30%. UCLA beat the Ducks on the boards in the first half 19 to 14, with 13 of UCLA’s rebounds in the first half coming on the defensive side. Sebastian Mack led all scorers in the first half with 14 points for UCLA and N’Faly Dante led the Ducks with 9 first half points.

Couisnard opens second half scoring for the Ducks. Dante gets a quick bucket and Oregon pulls within 36-35 at the 18:30 mark. Ducks take their first lead since early in the first half with a Jadrian Tracey with 16:51 left in the game. Adem Bona picks up his 3rd foul with 15:40 left in the half and a 40-38 Oregon lead. Several UCLA fans began to express their … displeasure at the Pac 12 Refs after that foul.

Oregon pulled out to a 46-40 lead with 12:30 left in the game thanks in part to UCLA getting cold from the free throw line. With UCLA having played the day before, you would think the Ducks would try to keep a much faster pace at this point in the game in order to tire out UCLA. Instead, both teams seemed to be content to settle for half court offense.

A N’Faly Dante dunk, foul by Kenneth Nwuba (his 4th) and ensuing free throw make gave Oregon a 55-47 lead with 7:58 left in the game. Both teams at this point had 9 team fouls with the expectation of a few free throws down the stretch. Just over one minute later, Nwuba picks up his 5th foul and was done for the game.

Jackson Shelstad gets a layup with an assist from Dante with 4:13 left and Oregon pulled out to a 63-53 lead. UCLA’s players at this point started showing a little fatigue as jumpers which fell easily in the first half started missing their mark. Even so, both teams still seemed to be content to run their offense in the half court, running time off the the clock.

UCLA takes advantage of some Oregon miscues to make a 9-0 run and pull within 63-61 with 1:36 left in the game. A big hook shot from Dante makes it 65-62 with 30 seconds left. Dylan Andrews counters with a big shot over Dante to make the score 65-64 with 11.1 seconds left. With both teams in the double bonus, 11.1 seconds of game time takes a lot longer with fouls. Jermaine Cousinard hits two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to give the Ducks a 3 point lead at 67-64. UCLA tried to push the ball up the court and Dylan Andrews is fouled before he could put up a shot, sending him to the free throw line with 5.1 seconds left. After hitting both free throws, Oregon’s Shelstad was fouled on the inbound with 4.4 seconds left. Shelstad missed 1 of two free throws, giving UCLA a chance to win. UCLA’s Dylan Andrews then sprinted the length of the court – missing the shot to tie at the buzzer. Oregon holds on for the win 68-66.

Five Ducks finished in double digits with N’Faly Dante as Oregon’s leading scorer with 22. Dylan Andrews finished with 24 points for UCLA. UCLA finishes their season 16-17 while Oregon at 21-11 will face #1 seed Arizona on Friday at 8pm.