Hands leads UCLA’s 2nd-half rally to beat Oregon 90-83
Hands scored all of his 27 points in the second half when he led a 19-point comeback to help UCLA win 90-83 on Saturday night.
“If we can figure out how to tie a ribbon around the second half as we move forward we’re a good basketball team,” interim Bruins coach Murry Bartow said. “We made a lot of plays in the second half. Defensively, we were much, much better.”
UCLA completed a season sweep of the Ducks, having stunned them 87-84 in overtime last month when the Bruins rallied from a nine-point deficit with less than 58 seconds left in regulation on the road.
This time, the Bruins got going much earlier.
Payton Pritchard’s 3-pointer opened the second half and pushed Oregon’s lead to 19 points.
“When we went up there we were down by a lot. We knew to keep fighting,” Wilkes said. “We ultimately had to get some energy. Hands got everybody hyped. Our defense stepped up, too.”
The Ducks led 53-38 when the Bruins took over.
They ran off 17 straight points, including three consecutive 3-pointers by Hands, to take their first lead of the game, 55-53. Hands added a pair of free throws and a fast-break layup during the spurt.
“It seemed like he couldn’t miss, especially on that shot that was from almost half-court,” said Oregon’s Paul White, who had 18 points.
Hands wasn’t done yet.
He hit another 3-pointer and Wilkes followed with one of his own, raising the noise level in Pauley Pavilion considerably thanks to the season’s third-largest crowd of 10,588.
“The energy in the building took over and really helped our guys,” Bartow said.
Bernard said, “Even our coach was a little crazy on the sidelines.”
The Ducks tied the game at 62-all on two free throws by Kenny Wooten, but they never led again.
Louis King’s 3-pointer drew the Ducks to 68-65 before UCLA closed the game on a 24-18 run.
“We scored 83 points, that should be enough,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said, “but you can’t give up 62 points in the second half.”
Pritchard added 18 points for Oregon (15-12, 6-8).
“This is a tough loss,” White said. “This will test our character.”
UCLA hit 14 pointers in the game, led by Hands with seven. Wilkes had four.
The Ducks raced to a nine-point lead 2 ½ minutes into the game. UCLA fought back to tie it three times before Oregon closed out the half on a 24-8 run. The Ducks hit four of their eight first-half 3-pointers during the spurt that gave them a 44-28 lead.
Oregon: The Ducks’ third straight loss sets them up for a tough closing stretch. They host second-place Arizona State next week and travel to first-place Washington to end the regular season. They’re 9-9 since standout freshman Bol Bol was lost to injury for the season in December.
UCLA: The Bruins have won two in a row and need a strong finish to build momentum going into the Pac-12 tourney, where their hopes rest for an NCAA Tournament bid.
The Ducks shot 63 percent from the field in the first half, the highest percentage by a UCLA opponent in the first half this season. The Bruins’ 62 points were their most in a half this season.
Oregon: Hosts Arizona State on Thursday.
UCLA: Hosts rival Southern California on Thursday in the Bruins’ last regular-season home game.