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. Continue reading
UCLA’s already slim chances at catching Arizona for the Pac-12 lead may have just disappeared.
The team suspended leading scorers Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson one game each for a violation of team rules. They will sit out when the Bruins tip off against Oregon at 8 p.m. tonight. The pair combines to average 32.1 points — over a third of the squad’s total output — as well as 14.2 rebounds, 9.1 assists and 4.6 steals.
The Ducks have the conference’s second-highest scoring offense behind UCLA, and lost their prior matchup in Eugene by just two points. With four games left in the regular season, the Bruins sit 2.5 games behind the Wildcats for first place.
Likely in line for their first career starts are freshman guards Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford. LaVine scored 14 points at Stanford last Saturday, his first double-digit effort in nearly a month, while Alford has averaged 7.8 points and 2.3 assists in his last eight games.
Kyle Anderson made another cut for a national award on Thursday morning, becoming one of 15 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
The UCLA point guard is one of two representatives from the Pac-12, joining Arizona guard Nick Johnson. Anderson and UConn’s Shabazz Napier are the only finalists to also make the midseason watch lists for the Wooden, Naismith and Bob Cousy Awards. Napier is averaging 17.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists to Anderson’s 14.9, 8.6, and 6.9.
See the full list of Robertson Trophy finalists below. Continue reading
Point guard Kyle Anderson was named one of 23 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, becoming one of four Pac-12 players to make the latest cut.
After acknowledging that it was an honor, he talked a little today about how his thumb injury threw off his shooting mechanics last season. After averaging 21.1 percent from the 3-point line as a freshman, he has more than doubled that number to 52.4.
Anderson originally injured his left thumb during St. Anthony High’s appearance in the state title game, then aggravated it further in three all-star competitions. Continue reading
Another trip, another split. For the second time in conference play, UCLA squandered a chance to claw up the standings by dropping the tail end of a road series.
The Bruins fell 71-67 at Oregon State, and t here were few excuses available this time. The loss at Utah last month — one that followed a win at then-No. 21 Colorado — came with an additional flight from Denver to Salt Lake City; Corvallis is less than an hour’s drive from Eugene. The Utes’ Huntsman Center is among the rowdiest venues in the conference; Gill Coliseum draws an average of 3,897, the second-worst showing in the Pac-12.
And to top it all off, coach Steve Alford had an extra day to prepare heading into an 11:30 a.m. Sunday tipoff.
Just about everything that could have gone wrong did. After holding the Beavers to 35.3 percent shooting through the bulk of the first half, UCLA’s zone defense began to crack. Continue reading