UCLA can’t keep up with Oregon State in 87-84 loss
Reporting from Corvallis, Ore. — This was the type of streak that UCLA fans were comfortable with, even expected, when the Bruins dominated college basketball.
This was the type of loss UCLA fans have grown accustomed to this season.
The misstep that was the Bruins’ 87-84 loss to Oregon State at Gill Coliseum once would have prompted Beavers fans to rush deliriously from the stands onto the court, but Thursday night it merely sent them into a rainy night mildly happy.
The defeat ended UCLA’s 13-game winning streak against Oregon State, which dated to 2005, and left the Bruins a step behind teams trying to distinguish themselves from the crowd in the Pac-12 Conference race.
There are five teams with two conference losses chasing first-place California. UCLA (10-8, 3-3 in the Pac-12) missed out on a chance to join that group.
“After three consecutive wins, this is disappointing,” Coach Ben Howland said.
The Bruins have won only one game outside of Southern California this season and now have the tough game on this trip, facing Oregon (14-5, 5-2) Saturday.
“This is a tough one,” said guard Jerime Anderson, who had 11 points and nine assists for the Bruins. “We thought we’d come in here and win.”
The Bruins had done so for years, beating the Beavers (12-7, 2-5) the last six times in Corvallis. They hadn’t lost to Oregon State since the 2005 conference tournament.
All that ended when the Beavers started a 19-8 run with 15 minutes left. Jared Cunningham started it with a three-pointer that broke a 51-51 tie.
He scored nine points during the run, which left the Beavers ahead 70-59 with nine minutes left.
The problem was simple to Howland, whose team shot 57% from the field.
“We couldn’t make any defensive stops,” Howland said. “You shoot 57% and lose? That doesn’t happen very often.”
The Bruins helped out, committing three turnovers during that stretch.
“There were about three possession where we made bad decisions and it led to easy baskets,” Howland said.
Still, Anderson said, “You have to credit them.”
Oregon State shot 58% from the field. Cunningham had 21 points and Devon Collier 20.
“Everyone played big,” said Cunningham, who scored 16 of his points in the second half. “When we needed it, some one came up with a big play.”
When the Bruins needed that, the opposite occurred. UCLA had a chance to cut the Beavers’ lead to four with five minutes left, but Tyler Lamb’s lob to David Wear sailed out of bounds.
Oregon State scored the first eight points of the first half and it got the last three on Angus Brandt’s three-pointer with six seconds left for a 39-38 lead at halftime.
The Bruins froze at the start, going without a field goal for the first 31/2 minutes before Travis Wear scored on a layup.
Lazeric Jones kicked some life into the Bruins, scoring nine points in the last eight minutes of the first half.
With Oregon State leading 26-21, Jones had a three-pointer and layup to cut the gap. Jones, who is 6 feet 1 and 187 pounds, wrestled Joe Barton, Oregon State’s 6-7, 280 forward, to a draw, giving the ball back to the Bruins.
“This loss is on us,” Anderson said.
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