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Win Streak Ends at 27 Games

Jan 3, 2021

Box Score: UCLA 73, Oregon 71 | Boxscore

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon's newcomers went toe-to-toe with a veteran group from UCLA and fought back from a double-digit deficit Sunday afternoon, but the No. 8 Ducks couldn't complete the comeback and saw their 27-game winning streak end at the hands of the No. 11 Bruins, 73-71 in Matthew Knight Arena.

The Ducks (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) trailed 71-60 with 4:51 to play and scored 11 straight to tie it at 71-71. UCLA preseason all-American Michaela Onyenwere finished off a 33-point performance with the go-ahead basket, and Oregon couldn't answer despite three more possessions in the final minute.

The loss was Oregon's first in 28 games overall, 25 in Pac-12 play and 23 at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks went nearly two years between losses in Eugene, since a defeat to the Bruins on Feb. 22, 2019.

"It's been a long time; you knew it was going to come to an end at some point, more than likely," UO coach Kelly Graves said. "The first one, it really hits you; it hits you hard. I think it's important to see our bounce-back. Unfortunately we have to do that against the best team in the country (No. 1 Stanford on Friday) — which is legitimate. I've seen a lot of teams play, and they're the best team in the country."

How It Happened: UCLA led 57-54 entering the fourth quarter, and Onyenwere scored twice to stretch the lead to eight. Another bucket by Onyenwere got the Bruins' lead to 69-59, and she made two free throws for a 71-60 lead. But UCLA proceeded to miss its next eight field-goal attempts, while Oregon put together an 11-0 run to tie it. After two Taylor Mikesell free throws, Jaz Shelley made it a six-point game with a three-pointer. Nyara Sabally and Te-Hina Paopao scored in the paint to get Oregon within 71-69, and Sabally made two free throws for a 71-71 tie.

But after Onyenwere ended UCLA's cold streak by following her own missed three-pointer and putting it back, the Ducks had three empty possessions — a missed three-pointer, a turnover and a desperation tip-in attempt at the buzzer. Onyenwere and her fellow veteran star, Charisma Osborne, each had a turnover in the final 30 seconds to keep hope alive for the Ducks, but they also combined for 55 points on the afternoon.

"You can't allow their two best players to go for 55 points; you just can't," Graves said. "So hopefully it's something we learn from and get better."

The fourth quarter dramatics were made possible by another UO rally in the third. UCLA led 38-34 at halftime, then made five of its first six shots out of the break to go ahead 49-38. The Ducks rallied back within 52-48 thanks to two three-pointers by Paopao, then made it a two-point game when another Paopao missed another three-pointer but followed her shot and laid it in to make it 52-50. UCLA was mired in a slump of seven straight misses when Osborne ended the quarter with a three-pointer for a 57-54 UCLA lead.

Onyenwere and Osborne were a tough matchup from the start, scoring all of UCLA's points in the first quarter as the Bruins took a 20-15 lead. The Ducks got a jolt of energy in the second from Angela Dugalic, with the freshman scoring six points and grabbing three rebounds in the quarter to get Oregon into halftime trailing by just four, 38-34.

Who Stood Out: Paopao finished with 19 points and four assists, and Dugalic established a career high with 13 points, while grabbing nine rebounds for the second game in a row. She had three defensive rebounds in a span of four possessions by UCLA during the Ducks' 11-0 run to tie the game at 71-71; overall, when Dugalic was on the floor Oregon outscored the Bruins by 18 points.

Sabally overcame a slow start to finish with 12 points and eight rebounds, plus two blocked shots, and Erin Boley added 10 points.

What it Means: The Ducks fought valiantly against a more seasoned team, a learning experience if Oregon's young roster is able to channel the loss the right way.

"We're learning and we're growing," Boley said. "We're really young; it showed a lot at the end of that game, making decisions when it was close. …Hopefully we learn from the situation and we're better next time."

Notable: Taylor Chavez missed her second game due to personal reasons, and post Sedona Prince was on the bench but not in uniform due to injury. Sydney Parrish returned to action after not playing Friday against USC. … Oregon's most recent defeat overall, and in Pac-12 play, was a 72-66 defeat at Arizona State on Jan. 10, 2020. … Onyenwere was the first opponent to score 30 or more against the Ducks since Arizona's Aari McDonald on March 7, 2020.

Up Next: The Ducks go on the road to face No,. 1 Stanford on Friday (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network).