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Hot Shooting Bruins Bury Beavers Early

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UCLA shot well and Oregon St. Was A 3 Beaver Show, Which Equaled A Big Bruin Win.

Gary Payton II threw down a game high 24 points against UCLA, but didn't get nearly enough help, especially from the Oregon St. frontcourt.
Gary Payton II threw down a game high 24 points against UCLA, but didn't get nearly enough help, especially from the Oregon St. frontcourt.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In what might have been an NCAA Tournament elimination game for them, UCLA came to play Wednesday night, and shot down any hope Oregon St. had of taking their first win over UCLA in LA in 11 years, or their first sweep of the Bruins in 27.

The Bruins built a double digit lead just before halftime, and cruised to a 75-59 win from there.

UCLA hit their first 4 3 point shots of the game, jumping out to a 15-8 lead, and never looked back. Compounding the problem for Oregon St., Gary Payton II picked up his second personal foul 8 minutes into the game, with the Beavers down only 19-15. Payton sat for a while, and had to be less aggressive on both ends of the floor when he returned, and as a result, the Bruins out-scored the Beavers 21-10 over the rest of the first half, including a 13-4 run to the locker room, capped by back to back 3 pointers by Bryce Alford, which put UCLA ahead by 15, up 40-25.

UCLA shot 55% from the field in the first half, and an even more impressive 64% from 3 point range, knocking down 7 of 11 3s.

Meanwhile, the Oregon St. offense, which stagnates without Payton, shot an awful 27% in the first half, hitting only 8 of 30 shots, and an even worse 2 of 11, 18%, on 3s.

Tony Parker, who did not play in the teams' first meeting, a 66-55 win by the Beavers, started the second half with a 2 + 1 3 pointer, and suddenly the game went from a 9 point margin to an 18 point deficit. And it was essentially over.

Oregon St. didn't go away, and the lead would only be that large once more until there was only 5 minutes left, on a Thomas Welsh basket, and that was quickly answered by a Payton 3 pointer.

But the Beavers also never got closer than 12 points in the second half.

Alford hit a pair of free throws to finally make it a 19 point lead, and another pair by Norman Powell, whom Oregon St. held down very well to just 4 points, produced the largest lead of the game, a 20 point 70-50 UCLA advantage with less than 4 minutes left, before the Beavers scratched back within 15 a couple of times.

Payton had a game high 24 points, his 5th 20 point game of the season, and Langston Morris-Walker was close behind, with 19 points, and a team high 8 rebounds, while Jarmal Reid had a another good game off the bench, again in double digits with 10 points.

The problem was the ONLY other field goal of the night for Oregon St. came from walk-on Justin Stangel.

Olaf Schaftenaar had a pair of brilliant assists in the first 5 minutes of the game, on passes from the high post to a cutting Payton for back to back dunks. Unfortunately, he didn't accomplish anything else all night, finishing with no points and no rebounds.

Daniel Gomis got only 1 free throw point, and Cheikh N'diaye, after having the best game of his career in last Sunday's win over Washington, was also shut out, and also got only 1 board.

Malcolm Duvivier, who was Oregon St.'s leading scorer in their win over UCLA in the first meeting, when he had a game high 19 points, had only 3, and all on free throws.

Meanwhile, the balanced Bruins, got 25 front court points from Parker, who finished with 15 and a game high 10 rebounds, and freshman Kevon Looney, who had 10, all in the decisive first half, in support of Alford's 22, built on 5 of 9 shooting from 3 point range.

Oregon St. basically can't deal with a strong post game with available personnel, and no 2 events better illustrate that than the 2 games against UCLA, without and with Parker. Unless it was the series against Washington, with and without Robert Upshaw.

The Bruins' Isaac Hamilton also just missed a double double, with 9 assists to go with his 16 points.

Oregon St. improved both defensively and offensively in the second half, bringing UCLA's shooting percentage down to 48%, but the Bruins still finished having shot 53% from 3 point range. The Beavers only brought their shooting up to 39% though, and still shot

The Beavers also didn't help themselves at the free throw line, making only 14 of 21.

And UCLA killed Oregon St. on the boards, grabbing 41 to just 23 by the Beavers.

"Their big fella Tony Parker beasted us in the post a little bit," Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said. "Look at what they did to us on the glass. We weren't as tough as we needed to be."

Oregon St. slipped to 16-8, and 7-5 in the Pac-12, and into a tie with UCLA for 5th place, though still only 2 games back of conference leading Arizona and Utah. The Beavers will conclude their LA trip Saturday afternoon at 2 PM, across town at USC. The Trojans, in last place int the Pac-12, are 9-15 and 1-11 in conference, after losing to Oregon 80-75 tonight, represent the best remaining chance this season for the Beaver to pick up what would be only their 3rd road win, and 2nd Pac-12 win away from Gill Coliseum.

UCLA improved to 15-10, and 7-5 in conference, and have won 12 of 13 games this season at Pauley Pavillion, with only a loss to 3rd ranked Gonzaga on John & Nell Wooden Court. The Bruins will host the Ducks, who are now 18-7 and 8-4 in the Pac-12, and alone in 3rd place, at noon Saturday.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com