Eugene, Ore. -- That wasn't quite the way it was supposed to go. Oregon men's basketball led UCLA by 17 points with 6:53 left in the game, 13 points with 2:31, 9 points with 58 seconds, and 3 points with 3 seconds to play. Implausibly, nigh impossibly, the Ducks lost 87-84 to the Bruins in overtime at Matthew Knight Arena, dropping Oregon to 9-6 on the season and 0-2 in Pac-12 play.
For 39 minutes and 2 seconds, the Ducks looked like the team that many thought they would be at the beginning of the year: firing on all cylinders while suffocating the Bruins on defense, generating 22 turnovers in regulation. Freshman Louis King was having a coming out party, 22 points on 9-18 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds. Four Ducks were in double figures, including King, with Victor Bailey Jr. putting together a 20 point game of his own. It all felt good in Matthew Knight Arena and then a tension began to fill the seats.
Things started to change late into the second half as the Bruins began to find their shooting stroke from three, draining four deep balls in the span of 90 seconds to get the game back within five. With the Ducks up 5, Oregon guard Ehab Amin fouled UCLA's Jaylen Hands, sending him to the line for three free throws.
76-74. 33 seconds left.
On the other side of the floor, Victor Bailey drew a foul, and then subsequently made both of his chances from the stripe which gave the Ducks a four point cushion. It looked to be enough until a missed jumper by Hands was rebounded by Prince Ali, who dribbled back out beyond the line and drained a three pointer to bring the Bruins within one.
78-77. 5 seconds left.
The Ducks inbounded to Payton Pritchard, who was intentionally fouled, but hit both at the line.
80-77. Two seconds left.
With a foul to give, the Ducks sent Jaylen Hands back to the line, where he made the first but intentionally missed the second, a miss that was recoverd by Chris Smith, who put away the tying bucket and was fouled. He missed it and the game went into overtime.
80-80. End of regulation.
From there, UCLA simply outlasted the Ducks, going on a 7-0 run in the last 2:43 of OT, sealing the win and erasing the 17 point deficit. Oregon faces USC in their next home matchup on Sunday, January 13th.
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