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UCLA downs Oregon State, 81-65

UCLA eventually pulls away from Oregon State with some hot shooting.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon State at UCLA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State (3-13 Pac-12 1-5) has played well in their last two games but haven’t been able to pick up wins. The Beavers came into this game as big 16 point underdogs against UCLA (11-2 Pac-12 3-1) who was handed their second loss on the season by the other team in Oregon and was looking to get back on the winning side.

Oregon State held UCLA’s leading scorer Johnny Juzang to 5 points in the first half but Juzang caught fire in the second half and finished the game with 24 and four UCLA starters finished with double-digit points. The Beavers shot a respectable 42.9% from the field and 40% from three-point land, Dashawn Davis and Jarod Lucas led the scoring effort for OSU finishing with 12 points each.

UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez was not available for the Bruins while nursing an ankle injury giving Jaylen Clark his first career start. Clark led all scorers in the first half with 11 points and the Bruins shot nearly 70% in the first 20 minutes.

Oregon State hung with UCLA much of the first half and battled from multiple deficits to keep the game close. Davis had back-to-back buckets early in the first half followed by a Dexter Akanno 3 point make pulled the Beavers within two points of UCLA. Lucas and Ahmad Rand kept the Beavers hot shooting going with two more three’s a couple of minutes later as Oregon State grabbed their first lead 17-15 with 12:22 to go in the half.

UCLA responded with a 6-0 run to take back the lead with a Clark layup on a backdoor cut and Tyger Campbell getting a layup after a steal on defense. Both teams continued trading baskets on offense until near the four-minute mark when UCLA held a 36-30 lead over Oregon State. Campbell made a pair of free throws and scored another layup on the next Bruins to give UCLA their first double-digit lead of the evening with under three minutes remaining in the first half.

The Beavers scored only two more FG’s in the final minutes before the half, a Glenn Taylor dunk and a Maurice Calloo offensive rebound putback had the Beavers down to UCLA 43-35 at halftime.

Lucas scored the first points for Oregon State in the second half as the Beavers tried to trim into the UCLA lead. Roman Silva and Warith Alatishe both picked up their third fouls in the first two minutes of the half as neither had their best game on this night. Campbell found Juzang for the three-pointer with 16 minutes left in the half as UCLA broke open the game and held a 53-39 lead over the Beavers.

After a pair of Davis made free throws the Beavs’ didn’t score again until the 13:40 mark with a Calloo made three and Oregon State still trailing by 11. The Beaver offense started to go cold in the second half going 6-18 on FG’s with near nine minutes to play in the game. An Akanno made three pulled Oregon State as close as they would get, 68-58 with five and a half minutes to go. Silva picked up his final two fouls less than 20 seconds apart and UCLA really starting to pull away. Juzang’s pull-up jumper near the free-throw line all but closed the game as UCLA was able to keep Oregon State at arm’s length the rest of the way and the Bruins leading 75-60. Rand and Glenn Taylor got the final Oregon State points in the closing seconds while UCLA closed out the 81-65 win.

The Beavers will have some time to rest and regroup before trying to get back in the win column. Their next game will be at home against the Washington Huskies on Jan. 20 at 8:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.