Beavers rout the Bru­ins

Bal­anced Ore­gon State hands UCLA its first de­feat un­der in­terim coach Bar­tow.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Ben Bolch


CORVALLIS, Ore. — Prince Ali de­flected the ball only to see his coun­ter­part even­tu­ally score.

Kris Wilkes rose for a three-pointer that could have made the deficit man­age­able only to watch it bounce off the rim.

Jaylen Hands sprinted from trap to trap only to watch the ball move past him with rel­a­tive ease.

The magic that UCLA had con­jured for a his­toric come­back ear­lier on this trip did not ma­te­ri­al­ize again Sun­day night.

When the Bru­ins fell be­hind big late in the sec­ond half against Ore­gon State at Gill Coli­seum, they stayed down on the way to a 79-66 de­feat that ended their stir­ring run to open Pac-12 Con­fer­ence play.

The pri­mary cul­prit was a fa­mil­iar one. UCLA couldn’t move the ball for easy bas­kets against the

Beavers’ al­ter­nat­ing matchup zone and man-toman de­fenses, re­sult­ing in only 12 as­sists and some hideous shoot­ing per­cent­ages — 38.1% from the field and 32% from three-point range.

It led to an equally un­sightly end to the Bru­ins’ three-game win­ning streak as they fell be­hind by as many as 18 points in the fi­nal min­utes after wip­ing out a nine-point deficit ear­lier in the sec­ond half.

“We were re­ally stag­nant of­fen­sively and didn’t zip it around like we’d been do­ing,” said UCLA in­terim coach Murry Bar­tow, who suf­fered his first set­back since tak­ing over for Steve Al­ford, “and I think Ore­gon State had a lot to do with that.”

The Bru­ins (10-7 over­all, 3-1 Pac-12) were even hor­rid from the free-throw line, shoot­ing only 47.6%, though there was no cred­it­ing the Beavers for that.

Wilkes’ shoot­ing strug­gles deep­ened be­fore he made three three-point­ers over the fi­nal 1 minute 41 sec­onds to make his stat line slightly more palat­able. He fin­ished with a team-high 21 points on eight-for-22 shoot­ing, mak­ing four of 11 shots from be­yond the arc. Over his last five games, Wilkes has made 39.5% of his shots and 26.5% of his three-point­ers.

“At the end of the game he hit three threes, so hope­fully he sees that and gets his stroke back, but I don’t think there’s any­thing any­one should tell him,” said Hands, who had 12 points but only two as­sists. “He’s go­ing to get back to the player he is.”

It mo­men­tar­ily ap­peared as if Wilkes might be heat­ing up when he made a layup in tran­si­tion to give UCLA a 4746 lead mid­way through the sec­ond half. But the Beavers (11-4, 3-0) re­sponded with an 11-1 run that in­cluded three­p­oint­ers by Tres Tin­kle and Ethan Thomp­son be­fore nudg­ing their lead into dou­ble dig­its for good on two Thomp­son free throws with 6½ min­utes left.

Thomp­son and his brother, Stephen Thomp­son Jr., each fin­ished with 17 points to lead five play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures scor­ing for Ore­gon State, which has won its first three con­fer­ence games for the first time since the 1992-93 sea­son.

“They could eas­ily be 14-0,” said Bar­tow, not­ing that each of the Beavers’ de­feats has come by sin­gle dig­its. “They’re not easy to beat here.”

Tin­kle, re­turn­ing from a one-game ab­sence caused by a sprained an­kle, scored 10 of his 14 points in the sec­ond half. The Beavers man­han­dled UCLA in­side, outscor­ing the Bru­ins 42-26 in the paint. Bar­tow lamented not get­ting fresh­man cen­ter Moses Brown (nine points on four-for-six shoot­ing) enough post touches, just one of sev­eral re­grets.

“Too many perime­ter shots, not enough in­sid­e­out­side ac­tion and we were just a lit­tle stag­nant and our tran­si­tion game never re­ally got go­ing,” Bar­tow said. “I think we can solve it, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

The Bru­ins headed home with one crazy come­back but not two, hav­ing wiped out a 17-point deficit against Ore­gon be­fore fall­ing way short against the Beavers. UCLA has not com­pleted a road sweep since Fe­bru­ary 2017.

“Any time you can get a split in the Ore­gon schools it’s good,” Hands said, “but we’re greedy, we wanted to get both of them.”

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