Oregon 77 - UCLA 69
LAS VEGAS – Oregon saw the Pac-12 regular season title slip through its hands on the final day. The Ducks did no such thing Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, keeping UCLA at arms’ length since midway through the 1st half to capture a 77-69 victory in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship Game.
“A week ago I think it’s safe to say we were as low as you can get. But we bounced back. I think it shows the character of our team, guys stayed with it,” coach Dana Altman said. “We had to play well. I thought we were aggressive. It just shows what a difference a week makes. I told the guys that. In life and in basketball, you have to look ahead.” Carlos Emory had 18 points, Johnathan Loyd came off the bench to score a season-high 19 and Arsalan Kazemi tallied his ninth double-double of the season for the Ducks. It was the program’s first tournament championship since 2007. Norman Powell filled in for the injured Jordan Adams and scored 10 points for UCLA. Pac-12 co-Freshman of the Year Shabazz Muhammad chipped in 14 for the Bruins.
[Related video: Oregon's postgame celebration]
After a sloppy first few minutes, Larry Drew II’s three-pointer gave UCLA an early 10-4 start as Oregon turned the ball over seven times in the first six minutes. Lloyd hit a three pointer from the wing to give the Ducks their first lead about halfway through the 1st half as part of a 17-6 run to take control of the game. UCLA did mount a late charge midway through the 2nd half, attacking the rim and getting into the bonus with over 13 minutes left. Drew hit another three-pointer to cut it to two right before the under-12 media timeout but that would be as close as the Bruins would come the rest of the way. That the team could make it as close as they did was an accomplishment without the help of Adams, who broke a bone in his foot on the last play of Friday's semifinal win and will be sidelined the rest of the season. Powell went 3-of-6 from the field and added four rebounds but lacked the explosiveness that Adams flashed the past week in Las Vegas. "I thought Norman did a good job tonight," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "He's going to get better playing more minutes and being more comfortable in that role, playing 35 minutes a game." Howland provided one of the game's more memorable moments when he tossed his suit jacket into the first row after arguing a call. It earned him a technical foul, his first in 11 years he said. The star of the show was Loyd however, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player afterward. He replaced Dominic Artis after the first few turnover-filled minutes and powered the Ducks to the win in his hometown. “To do this in front of my family, friends, hometown, it’s just an amazing feeling,” an emotional Loyd said. Damyean Dotson had a quiet 13 points for Oregon but was named to the 2013 All-Tournament Team thanks to a great week. Teammate Kazemi, Arizona State's Jahii Carson, UCLA's Adam and Drew rounded out the selections. Both Oregon and UCLA await their NCAA tournament seeding on Sunday. [gallery set="72157633011031107"]
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