No. 6 Bruins Outlast Ducks, Build Upon Pac-10 Lead
Feb. 23, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP)-- Russell Westbrook scored 16 points and helped rally No. 6 UCLA from an 11-point second-half deficit to a 75-65 victory over Oregon on Saturday.
The Bruins (24-3, 12-2) extended their lead in the Pac-10 to 1 1/2 games over No. 9 Stanford, which plays California on Sunday.
UCLA was facing a defeat that could have jeopardized its hopes of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament before Westbrook helped ignite the 38-17 game-ending run.
Maarty Leunen had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Oregon (15-12, 6-9), which has lost eight of 11, including Thursday's game at Southern California after leading by 13 points. Malik Hairston added 16 points and Taj Porter had 15.
The Ducks were in control for virtually the entire first half and into the second before UCLA stepped up its defense, which in turn sparked its offense.
The Bruins were a different team the first 20 minutes. They played lethargic defense, got outrebounded and didn't have a single player score in double figures. Leunen's 3-pointer in the closing seconds put Oregon ahead 34-31 at the break.
Love had the ball stolen by Bryce Taylor on UCLA's first possession of the second half. Westbrook missed two easy layups that had the crowd groaning and went down in a heap on the second one. He rolled over on the court, but soon got up and jogged on the sideline before returning.
The Ducks outscored the Bruins 14-6, including two 3-pointers by Leunen, to lead 48-37.
But momentum swung UCLA's way and stayed there in the game-closing run. Hairston, Taylor and Joevan Catron picked up their third fouls during UCLA's spurt.
The Bruins' offensive outburst coincided with more aggressive defense. Collison stole the ball and sent a long pass to Westbrook, who dunked for UCLA's first lead, 54-53, since the game's opening minutes.
The Ducks tied the game at 54 on a free throw by Hairston, but had just five field goals in the game-breaking stretch.
The Bruins drove to the basket, got fouled and finished 21-of-31 from the line.