Hands leads UCLA’s 2nd-half rally to beat Oregon 90-83

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              UCLA center Moses Brown, center, shoots as Oregon forward Francis Okoro, left, and forward Paul White defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jaylen Hands nearly couldn’t miss. He stopped and popped 3-pointers from all over, repeatedly burning Oregon’s defense.

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.

Kris Wilkes added 20 points and Jules Bernard had a career-high 20 for the Bruins (15-13, 8-7 Pac-12), who outscored the Ducks 62-39 over the final 20 minutes.

“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.

BIG PICTURE

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.

BIG NUMBERS

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.

UP NEXT

Oregon: Hosts Arizona State on Thursday.

UCLA: Hosts rival Southern California on Thursday in the Bruins’ last regular-season home game.