Oregon Ducks Struggle In Second Half, Fall To UCLA Bruins

Sabrina Ionescu drives against Arizona State.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Sabrina Ionescu drives against Arizona State.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

Kelly Graves and the Oregon Ducks watched a first-half lead disappear leading to their first home loss of the season vs UCLA Friday night.

The UCLA Bruins came in as the hot team on Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena. UCLA came in having won seven of their last nine games. Without Ruthy Hebard, the Oregon Ducks would have to find other ways to score, and they did.

While the player inside changed, both Erin Boley and Oti Gildon hit inside buckets in the closing minutes of the first quarter as Oregon took a 19-10 lead. Maite Cazorla went inside before the end of the first quarter and the Ducks led 23-12. Oregon closed out the quarter 4 for 4 on field goals holding UCLA to 2 for 10 shooting from the floor.

Midway through the second quarter, the Oregon Ducks built a 17-9 quarter lead capping of a 10-0 run pushing the lead to 40-18. Michaela Onyenwere picked up her third foul of the game before the halftime for the UCLA Bruins. Oregon took a 42-27 lead into the break.

UCLA came back in the third quarter to push a 12-6 lead to pull within 10 with 4:42 left in the quarter. The Bruins came within 7 before Sabrina Ionescu helped the Oregon Offense to push the lead back to 10 points. Oregon ended the third quarter shooting 1 for 7 from the floor allowing UCLA to pull within five points 53-48.

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The Bruins took the momentum into the fourth quarter, tying the game with 7:06 left. Satou Sabally picked up her fourth foul and the Oregon Offense was struggling watching UCLA go on a 9-0 run pushing the lead to three, 59-56 forcing a Ducks timeout.

UCLA reeled off a 7-2 run to push the lead to six with just over three minutes left in the game. Oregon stopped the bleeding and started to find some points holding the Bruins off the scoreboard for more than two minutes. Oregon, with the help of the crowd, pulled to within four with 1:23 left.

Possessions in the final minute did not go the Ducks way as UCLA hit key free throws winning the game 74-69 giving the Oregon Ducks just their third loss of the season. Satou Sabally and Sabrina Ionescu both fouled out in the final minute of the game.

Oregon will look to close out the home season at Matthew Knight Arena with a win on Sunday. It will be Senior Day as Oregon honors Maite Cazorla and Oti Gildon. Tipoff vs USC is set for 11 am on Pac-12 Network.