Pauley Pavilion nearly saw a miracle.
With 1:01 left on the game clock, UCLA was down seven points and missing its two best players.
The Bruins clawed their way through 11 more minutes, eventually falling 87-83 to Oregon in double overtime. Along the way, they left fans with arguably the most memorable game of the season.
Three hours before the 8 p.m. tipoff, the team had announced the suspensions of point guard Kyle Anderson and leading scorer Jordan Adams.
With little time the prepare, UCLA (21-7, 10-5) went almost the entire first half without an inside bucket and walked into the locker room in a 12-point hole.
No matter. With 1.2 seconds left in regulation, David Wear snuck behind the Ducks’ defense and streaked upcourt for a wide-open three. He caught an inbounds pass from his twin brother, Travis, and drilled a shot from some 30 feet away.
The Bruins couldn’t finish the job, but given that they lost 32.1 points per game in their missing star duo, they certainly get marks for effort.
This was the setup. The Bruins turned up the effort in the second half, starting with an 8-2 run early on. Junior guard Norman Powell then scored seven straight points, part of a 9-0 run that cut the deficit to five with less than eight minutes left. Freshman guard Zach LaVine’s 3-point play trimmed the margin to three just inside five minutes.
Backup point guard Bryce Alford, who finished with a game-high 31 points, made three free throws at 3:02. UCLA was down by just two points.
Oregon (19-8, 7-8) quickly responded with a 7-2 run, but a bevy of missed free throws left the door cracked open.
Alford hit two 3-pointers in the final 26 seconds of the second half. The Bruins were down 69-68 with 1.2 seconds left, a lead Joseph Young bumped up with two free throws.
And then, the Wears’ heroics. The team rushed onto the court in celebration, and all the first-half woes were forgotten.
And what woes they were.
The Bruins shot an abysmal 30.8 percent from the field in the first half, struggling to penetrate the Ducks’ defense without their leading passer (Anderson) and most capable driver (Adams) — a duo that combined for 32.1 points per game.
Of their first 28 shots, 12 came from beyond the arc. More than three minutes elapsed before the Bruins even attempted a shot inside the paint, and another 16 did before they made one.
The drought finally ended nine seconds before the break. Freshman Noah Allen, who had badly missed a pair of wide-open corner threes early in the game, sank a reverse layup — sending UCLA into the locker room with a 37-25 deficit.
During the second half, the stadium speakers blared out these lyrics: “Wake me up when it’s all over.”
Pity those who actually slept through this one.