Pac-12 Basketball Tournament: UCLA Bruins “Wear” Out Oregon Ducks
It took somewhat of a family affair for the UCLA Bruins to pull away in the second half on Wednesday night and defeat the Oregon Ducks by a final score of 82-63 in the Pac-12 Conference tournament quarterfinals in Las Vegas. Twin brothers Travis Wear and David Wear led the Bruins’ second half surge, finishing the game a combined 10-for-13 shooting for 25 points, with Travis picking up 14 points and David adding another 11. Coming into the tournament, the brothers, both seniors who transferred to the Bruins after playing their freshman year with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, entered the tournament only averaging a collective 13.1 points per game before rising to the occasion against a greatly improved Ducks team riding a recent wave of momentum in the midst of an eight-game winning streak.
The Bruins held onto a scant two-point lead at halftime and actually played from behind a better part of the game’s first 20 minutes. However, fatigue set in for the Ducks, who fought off their rival Oregon State Beavers only the night prior while the Bruins enjoyed a first round bye as the tournament’s No. 2 seed. The Bruins capped off a 22-5 run that commenced in the final two minutes of the first half when they found themselves trailing by four. Led by both the Wear brothers and sophomore guard Jordan Adams, who led the team with 15 points, the Bruins opened up a double digit lead in the second half. The Ducks suddenly couldn’t find the basket, finishing the game at only 43.6 percent shooting overall after going 54.2 percent from the floor in the first half. The Bruins, on the other hand, finished at 56.6 percent shooting, including 8-of-16 from three point range, and outscored the Ducks 45-28 in the second half.
Apart from junior guard Joseph Young, who led all scorers with 29 points, no one else put up much offense for the Ducks in the second half. The team failed to replicate its magic from last weekend’s upset win over the Arizona Wildcats, a win that finally reestablished the Ducks as NCAA Tournament worthy after a dreadful start to conference play.
The Bruins now advance to the semifinals on Friday night where they’ll face the Stanford Cardinal. Arizona meets the Colorado Buffaloes in the other semifinal contest with the championship game slated for Saturday afternoon.