April 21, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

No. 23 UCLA holds on for victory over Oregon State

Mick Cronin can once again enjoy a peaceful slumber.

Sleep had been hard to come by earlier in the week, the UCLA coach acknowledging three restless nights after a crushing defeat in the final second against Stanford on an inbounds pass that could haunt him for eternity.

The No. 23 Bruins gave their coach permission to snooze comfortably Saturday after holding on for a 57-52 victory over Oregon State at Pauley Pavilion, though there were more than a few scary moments along the way.

What had been an 11-point UCLA lead was down to three with 14 seconds to go before Oregon State called a timeout to set up a play and Beavers guard Ethan Thompson drove toward the corner. Thompson stumbled and lost the ball out of bounds with 8.6 seconds left, pounding the court with his hand in frustration.

UCLA’s Tyger Campbell made four free throws in the final seconds to close out the Beavers and extend the Bruins’ home winning streak to 16 games going back one year.

Highlights from UCLA’s 57-52 home win over Oregon State on Saturday.

UCLA forward Cody Riley powered his way to 16 points and 10 rebounds and guard David Singleton made three three-pointers off the bench in place of Jules Bernard, who eventually returned from a bruised right knee that forced him out of the game in the first half.

The Bruins (13-3, 9-1 Pac-12 Conference) also extended their advantage over second-place USC to 1½ games one week before the rivals meet at Galen Center. The Trojans will play Stanford on Tuesday in a makeup game.

Thompson scored 16 points to lead the Beavers (8-7, 4-5), who are happily leaving Los Angeles after a two-game sweep.

A first half that went poorly for UCLA included a literal thud when Bernard got tangled up in midair with an Oregon State player and landed awkwardly on the court. Bernard stayed down along the baseline for a few minutes in visible agony before being helped off the court.

Bernard reemerged before halftime, limping toward an exercise bike stationed near the Bruins’ bench that he rode for several minutes before walking gingerly back toward the locker room.

It was a metaphor for the way his team had played in the first half. A UCLA offense that has statistically ranked among the most efficient in the nation this season generated one clunker of a possession after another, holding a 27-25 halftime lead only after Riley’s layup pushed his team ahead.

The Bruins made only 31% of their shots and were worse from long range, making three of 14 three-point attempts (21.4%). Their only saving grace came on the defensive end, where they held Oregon State to 37% shooting while giving up few easy looks inside the three-point arc.