Jacob Young made back-to-back baskets to give Oregon a four-point lead with 24 seconds remaining and the Ducks went on to upset No. 3 UCLA 84-81 in overtime on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.
Oregon (10-6, 3-2 Pac-12) won their fourth game in a row, while UCLA (10-2, 2-1) saw its five-game winning streak end, suffering their first conference loss.
Young recorded a season-high 23 points and Will Richardson added 16 points for the Ducks. Oregon coach Dana Altman secured his 700th career win while defeating the top-three ranked Bruins on the road.
“We haven’t fought adversity well throughout the year, but we sure showed a little growth tonight,” said Altman. “Really proud of the way they fought back.”
Johnny Juzang led UCLA with 23 points and nine rebounds, Jules Bernard had 13 and Cody Riley added 11.
“We did not play well. Shot selections, ball security, defense, none of the above,” Bruins coach Mick Cronin said. Somehow, we made enough shots to just stay in the game. The only bright spot is Peyton Watson’s effort – his eight rebounds.”
Watson, the true freshman forward for the Bruins, provided a productive stat line of 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 21 minutes off the bench.
UCLA led 35-30 at halftime but things quickly changed after a slow start in the second half, allowing Oregon to go on a 15-2 run and grasp its largest lead of the game at 46-37.
“We’ve got talented guys, but we’ve got to come up with stops down the stretch and we just didn’t do that,” Juzang said. “You can’t have that many mistakes.”
Richardson made two free throws to stretch the Ducks lead to 73-67 with 46 seconds remaining, but it was the Bruins who scored the final six points of regulation, capped by a Jaylen Clark steal and score.
Juzang and Tyger Campbell converted a pair of free throws to get within two, which then led to Clark intercepting a pass on the next possession and finishing the lay-up to tie the game at 73-73 with 16 seconds left to force overtime.
“You’re either humbled and hungry like they were trying to pull off the so-called upset, or you’re arrogant without cause because we’ve won nothing,” Cronin said.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. missed a pivotal pair of free throws that would have tied the game for the Bruins and Young closed out the night by drilling a jumper with 24 seconds remaining to stretch Oregon’s lead to four.
Bernard had one final chance in the closing seconds, but missed on a tightly contested shot attempt at the buzzer, sealing the 84-81 overtime win for the Ducks.
“We played poorly today and it’s past us,” Bernard said. “We’re definitely going to study and realize what we did wrong this game and implement it into practice tomorrow and come into Saturday with our heads high …”
UCLA will next host the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion.