Well folks, the Ducks have done it: 5-0 in the conference. Pac-12 Supreme. No one can question the legitimacy of Oregon after today.
Tony Woods, playing thru the flu, posted a career high 18 points. Arsalan Kazemi played his best game as a Duck with 11 rebounds, getting his first double-double since the UTEP loss.
On the youth front, they didn't post jump-off-the-page numbers, but the Ducklings looked better than the Baby Bruins: Dominic Artis had 12 points with five assists. Damyean Dotson had six rebounds and five assists.
Tell-Tale Stat: with five minutes reaming in the game, the Ducks had TWELVE second chance points. The Bruins with ZERO.
The Full Story:
The battle for supremacy started off fast today. In a nearly packed Pauley Pavilion (12,254 fans), the Ducks came out shooting. They were able to get wide open looks for 3-pointers, trading baskets, and leads, swiftly with the Bruins. (There were eleven lead swaps midway through the first half).
Maybe it was all the mysterious yellow banana suits in the crowd, but something seemed to throw the Ducks off their shooting early on. In a wild possession early on, they took three threes and a long jumper, missed them all, got 4 offensive boards, then Woods got stripped in the paint. Oregon started four for four shooting, then missed nine shots and had four turnovers.
With 14:20 left in the first half, Shabazz Muhammed entered the game to shake things up (Coach Howland didn't start Muhammed because he'd been late to practice yesterday). He racked up ten points in the first half.
EJ Singler was playing tough, Jonathan Loyd was stepping up to swat shots, to make up for Tony Woods need for flu-induced breathers. (They kid was getting IVs a mere 20 hours ago).
Then, the Bruins started to pull away, going on 10-2 run after Oregon led by 4.
Then EJ Singler cut a a six point deficit in half in the final seconds of the first half with a three, stopping a 7-0 UCLA run and effectively stealing back a smidge of momentum for the Ducks.
Dominic Artis, who was nearly a Baby Bruin himself (original UCLA commit) led Oregon in the first with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Heading into the second half, Bruins led 40-37.
Then, Oregon's offense began to really struggle. Turnovers and missed threes highlighted the first five minutes. Bruins defense stepped up, especially Jordan Adams and UCLA had a 5 point lead with 15:50 to go in the second half.
Then it got a little worse, but not by much. E.J. Singler got a frustration foul, his third, and had to sit down. UCLA with the lead, 46-41.
In his absence, Oregon went on a mini shooting rampage, with seven straight points to tie the game 46-46 with 14:08 to go.
Tony Woods with a free throw accounted for the 15th lead change of the game with 12:05 on the clock, up 47-46. The Bruins offense stalled in the second, with only scored six points in six minutes. Oregon with 11 offensive rebounds up to that point.
Then Singler got his 4th foul with 9:31 to go, putting him on the bench. Suddenly UCLA couldn't miss, with three straight points to tie it 52-52 at the nine minute mark and the Wear Twins fueling the charge. (Travis Wear in double figures for the 7th straight game). With 6:52 remaining in the 2nd half Oregon led 56-54. Oregon had outscored UCLA 19-14 to that point in the second half.
With six minutes left, a huge 3 by Dotson gave Oregon its biggest lead, 59-54, but UCLA answered quickly.
3:30 remaining, Larry Drew set the table for Norman Powell's corner three, and the Bruins again made it a three-point game, behind 62-59.
With a one point lead and 3:15 to go, Singler re-entered the game, with Jonathan Loyd as the point guard down the stretch.
Then the Ducks started to pull away, up seven with just over a minute to go. Winning 76-67