Bruins Downed by Ducks in Pac-12 Quarterfinals
Las Vegas - No. 7 seed UCLA lost a heartbreaker to No. 2 seed Oregon, 63-60, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament at Michelob ULTRA Arena. UCLA (14-12) hit 10 three-pointers in the game, the second-most threes they have made all season, but the final three-point attempt by Jaelynn Penn to tie the game with two seconds remaining did not fall, and the Ducks (20-10) moved on to the semifinals.
Penn and fellow graduate transfer IImar'I Thomas led all players with 18 points each. Penn had 13 in the first half, and Thomas scored 14 in the second half. Guard Charisma Osborne led the Bruins on the boards with seven and added a game-high eight assists. Nyara Sabally led Oregon with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The first half was a back and forth affair between the Bruins and Ducks that saw 11 lead changes. UCLA claimed the advantage after each period thanks to second-chance baskets. The Bruins closed the first period on a 5-0 run to take the 17-16 first quarter lead, with Penn hitting a three-pointer after an Angela Dugalić offensive board and Izzy Anstey hitting a jumper after a Camryn Brown offensive rebound. UCLA finished the quarter with five offensive rebounds and 10 second-chance points. Penn scored 10 of the Bruins' first 15 points.
The teams traded leads six times in the second quarter. Oregon's biggest advantage in the quarter came after an early 6-0 run gave the Ducks a 22-19 lead, but the Bruins bounced back to regain the lead after a three from Chantel Horvat and a jumper by Dugalic. Oregon moved ahead 31-30 with 26 seconds remaining, but a second-chance layup by Thomas with three seconds on the clock gave the Bruins the halftime lead, 32-31.
Thomas had the hot hand in the third quarter, scoring nine points, six in the paint plus a three-pointer that gave UCLA a five-point lead, 53-48, with a minute to play in the third. The Bruins maintained the lead at the end of the third, 53-50, but Oregon began the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run to go ahead, 57-53.
After a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Thomas gave the Bruins the lead, 60-59, with 4:19 to play, Oregon took the lead back with 1:27 to play on a pair of free throws by Endyia Rogers. UCLA made a key defensive stop with 23 seconds remaining in the game, forcing a shot clock violation, but the Bruins could not convert on the other end, as the Ducks' post players shut UCLA down in the paint and forced a turnover. Oregon hit two free throws with 3.8 seconds left on the clock to create the final margin.