March 16, 2013
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Larry Drew II and Shabazz Muhammad each scored 14 points as the No. 21 UCLA men's basketball team dropped a 78-69 decision to Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament title game before 11,101 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night.
Carlos Emory scored a game-high 20 points and Johnathan Loyd finished with 19 points and three assists for the Ducks (26-8).
Saturday's game marked UCLA's first of the year without freshman Jordan Adams, the team's second-leading scorer who broke his right foot at the end of UCLA's game Friday night and will miss the remainder of the season.
"He's one of our best players, so I guess when you lose one of your best players, it's always something you've got to try to overcome," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "And we'll get better at that. We didn't have any time to prepare."
Without Adams, UCLA (25-9) missed the scoring punch it needed to match Oregon.
Larry Drew II finished with a game-high six assists, moving into third place on the Pac-12 Conference's single-season assists list (253). Norman Powell added 10 points in Adams' place for No. 1-seeded UCLA.
"Three games in three days isn't easy," said UCLA's Travis Wear, who scored 13 points and connected on 4 of 12 field goal attempts. "Obviously, fatigue had to be a factor. They [Oregon] have good leadership, they were fresh and they played well."
Oregon lost a chance to win the regular-season title with losses to Colorado and Utah last week.
The Ducks bounced back by knocking off Washington and Utah, two teams that had been on a roll, in its first two games of the Pac-12 Tournament.
After a shaky start in the title game, Oregon pulled itself together with superb perimeter shooting and pulled away in the second half after the Bruins made a run.
UCLA led 14-6 in the opening minutes of the game, but Oregon closed the half on a 35-18 scoring run to secure a 41-32 advantage at the break. The Bruins pulled to within two points (54-52) with 12:07 remaining before Oregon used a quick 6-0 scoring run to claim a 60-52 cushion.
"It was a tough week," Oregon head coach Dana Altman said. "A lot of negative things were said about us. The guys bounced back, and I thought they showed a lot of character."
Oregon beat UCLA by nine in their lone meeting during the regular season, but was shaky on the big stage at first, with turnovers on its first four possessions and six in the opening three minutes.
Once the Ducks settled down, they settled in, hitting their first five 3-pointers during a 17-4 run that put them up 23-18.
"We lost the opportunity to win one championship, so we said let's go get another one, and that's what we did," said Johnthan Loyd, who captured Pac-12 Tournament MVP honors.