N'Faly Dante regains form but Oregon Ducks fall at UCLA

Feb 3, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Oregon Ducks center N'Faly Dante (1) dunks over UCLA
Feb 3, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oregon Ducks center N'Faly Dante (1) dunks over UCLA / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After the letdown against Arizona last week, Oregon was looking to get back on track with two road wins against USC and UCLA, both not having the best seasons in the final year of the Pac-12.

The Ducks were able to complete the first part of the job taking care of business in a win against USC on Thursday night.  

Dana Altman saw his five starters each score in double figures in the 78-69 win over USC. Jackson Shelstad finished with 20 points and Oregon won by nine points despite not scoring a basket in the final four and a half minutes of the game.  

The game at UCLA did not have what I would consider a typical start. The Ducks were delayed on their team bus due to a presidential motorcade in the area. They arrived late at Pauley Pavilion.

The game was set to start just after 7 p.m. but was delayed until 7:25. Oregon arrived for pregame practice just after 6:30 p.m. and needed UCLA police to go and get them. I would consider that an assist.  

Oregon started the game very sluggish at the start and was down by double digits midway through the first half. The second 10 minutes of the opening half was a different story. The Ducks came back to be down just a point at halftime.  

The second half saw a lot of attention on the Ducks' big man N’Faly Dante. He is working on coming back from an injury that kept him out of the lineup for most of the season.

Dante looked good on Saturday night. He was able to get inside for key shots, but defensively, the Bruins were able to get better shots and ultimately took the win 71-63 over the Ducks.  

Dante finished the night versus UCLA with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists

Oregon went 1-1 on their road trip and earned a key win. Despite the loss, the Ducks are still among the top teams in the Pac-12. There are still opportunities in front of them over the final month of the regular season.  

Dana Altman and the Ducks host the Washington schools this week starting with the Huskies on Thursday at 7 p.m. on FS1 and the Cougars on Saturday at 2 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.