No. 11 UCLA holds off No. 8 Oregon 73-71

NCAA Basketball

EUGENE, Ore. (AP)When Oregon kept coming at the UCLA, Michaela Onyenwere’s steady guidance kept the Bruins from crumpling.

The senior forward had a career-high 33 points along with 10 rebounds and No. 11 UCLA held off No. 8 Oregon 73-71 on Sunday, snapping the Ducks’ 27-game winning streak.

In addition to the longest active winning streak in the nation, Oregon (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) had won 24 straight conference games and 22 consecutive games at Matthew Knight Arena. It was the Bruins who last defeated the Ducks at home back in February, 2019.

Charisma Osborne added 22 points for the well-rested Bruins (6-2, 4-2), who had not played since Dec. 21 when they fell to No. 1 Stanford 61-49 at Pauley Pavilion.

”Michaela, she is just phenomenal,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. ”The thing that makes me so happy about her is that she’s exactly the same whether she has a game like tonight or a game where she struggles. She gives everything she has in her energy and her talking, her enthusiasm doesn’t change. That is a testimony to her character.”

Te-Hina Paopao had 19 points while Angela Dugalic added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Ducks, who trailed by as many as 11 points in the final quarter but went on a 9-0 run to pull within 71-69 with 2:25 left.

Nyara Sabally hit a pair of free throws to tie it with 1:20 to go but Onyenwere’s layup put the Bruins back in front. After trading turnovers, Oregon got the ball back with seven seconds left but couldn’t score.

”It’s been a long time. That was 27 in a row, you knew it was going to come to an end at some point, more than likely,” Oregon Coach Kelly Graves said. ”That first one really hits you, hits you hard. So I think it’s important to see our bounce-back.”

But it gets harder for the Ducks: Their next game is on the road against top-ranked Stanford.

UCLA was supposed to play Oregon State on Friday, but that game was postponed when the Beavers suspended play because of COVID-19.

”Coming into these settings, I know teams are going to game plan around me. I give a lot of credit to our coaches for telling me I was going to grab a lot of attention so it is not how much I can score and rebound, but how I can get teammates open and get assists to them,” Onyenwere said.

The Bruins jumped out to a 14-9 lead and closed the first quarter up 20-15, paced by Onyenwere with 12 points. She has scored in double figures in all of UCLA’s games this season.

Maddie Scherr’s 3-pointer pulled the Ducks in front 23-22. Dugalic’s jumper gave Oregon a 31-28 lead but the Bruins went 10-3 to close out the half for a 38-34 lead.

Onyenwere’s layup and Lindsey Corsaro’s 3-pointer extended UCLA’s lead to 47-36 in the third quarter. But the Ducks closed the gap, pulling within 52-50 on Paopao’s 3-pointer followed by a layup.

Another Paopao layup tied it at 54, but Charisma Osborne’s 3-pointer gave the Bruins a 57-54 lead heading into the final quarter. Another 3 from Osborne put UCLA up 65-55 with 7:48 left.

The Bruins weren’t rattled when Oregon answered back.

”We talked about staying neutral and moving on to the next play,” Osborne said. ”Everyone on the court helped with that. We had the next play mentality and that really helped.”

Oregon was coming off a 92-69 victory over USC on Friday. Six Ducks scored in double figures in the win.

”We’re learning and growing and yes, it sucks and hurts right now but we’re going to move forward and learn from it,” Oregon’s Erin Boley said.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: The Bruins last visited Eugene in 2019 and came away with a 74-69 victory after trailing by as many as 22 points. … In uniform for UCLA was Dominique Darius, who left high school in New Jersey early and was added to the Bruins’ roster on Dec. 28. … No other Bruins beside Osborne and Onyenwere were in double figures.

Oregon: Oregon was without guard Taylor Chavez, who was attending to a family matter, for the second straight game. … Sedona Prince, the Ducks’ 6-foot-7 forward, did not dress. Prince was averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. … Last season the Ducks went 12-1 against Top 25 opponents. Earlier this season, Oregon defeated No. 15 Oregon State.

UP NEXT

UCLA hosts Colorado on Friday

Oregon visits No. 1 Stanford on Friday.

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