The Sports Report: Struggling UCLA loses to underdog Oregon

Oregon guard Will Richardson is fouled by UCLA's Jamie Jaquez Jr., left.
(Getty Images)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Ben Bolch: You have to want it more.


Playing on the road against a team craving victory, UCLA coach Mick Cronin said this week his Bruins would need to match, if not exceed, the physical and emotional output of Oregon to prevail at Matthew Knight Arena.

The Ducks were on the fringes of most NCAA tournament projections, leaving them in need of a signature victory against a nationally ranked team on national television.

In the final minutes, after UCLA wiped out a double-digit defense with some inspired play Thursday night, the Ducks wanted it more.

Oregon’s De’Vion Harmon rose for a tough three-pointer near the end of the shot clock. Eric Williams Jr. anticipated an entry pass for UCLA’s Cody Riley and stole it. Jacob Young banked in a contested layup. And, in the final indignity, Williams threw down a vicious dunk off a Young lob.

For No. 12 UCLA, it added up to a 68-63 loss to the underdog Ducks on a night the Bruins finished the game without an injured Johnny Juzang and a fouled-out Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Oregon students stormed the court in celebration of a season sweep of the Bruins (20-6 overall, 12-5 Pac-12), whose lead over the Ducks (18-10, 11-6) for third place in the conference standings was cut to one game.


The UCLA women’s basketball team (12-11, 7-8) knocked off No. 12 Arizona (19-6, 9-6) 64-46 in a Pac-12 Conference game played in Tucson, ending the Wildcats’ 16-game home court winning streak. The Bruins’ suffocating defense limited Arizona to 5-of-30 shooting in the second half while Ilmar’l Thomas poured in all 16 of her points to help break open a close game in which UCLA led 28-27 at the half.

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


Drew Peterson had 24 points and 10 rebounds as No. 16 USC extended its winning streak to five games, beating Oregon State 94-91 in double-overtime.

Isaiah Mobley had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans (24-4, 13-4 Pac-12).

Dashawn Davis scored 27 of his career-high 31 points in the second half and overtime for Oregon State (3-23, 1-15), which lost its 13th straight game. Jarod Lucas added 18 points.

Davis missed a three-pointer from the right corner with three seconds left in the second overtime.

Davis, who scored the Beavers’ final 19 points in regulation, converted a jumper in the lane, tying the game at 83-all with 19 seconds left in the first overtime. Dexter Akanno blocked Peterson’s potential game-winning jumper, extending the game to a second OT.


The USC women’s basketball team shrugged off a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter and defeated Arizona State, 60-58, thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Alyson Miura. The win makes USC 12-14 overall and to 5-11 in Pac-12, while the Sun Devils go to 12-12, 4-7.

The Trojans trailed 49-42 with 6:45 to go, but USC would chisel that down to two on a three-pointer from Tera Reed. Arizona State answered with a score to go up 56-52 with 2;35 remaining, but Reed kept coming and had USC on top 57-56 with 34 seconds on the clock. ASU’s 20th offensive board of the game refueled the Sun Devils, who connected to go up 58-57 with 15 seconds left. A wild final possession saw Miura get the last look, as she buried the winner for the Trojans.


The Super Bowl champions could soon set up camp a kick away from Victory Boulevard.

The Rams are in negotiations to buy the site of the former Woodland Hills Promenade shopping mall and build a team practice facility there, according to people familiar with the talks who are not authorized to discuss them publicly and asked for anonymity.

The Rams and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the owners of the mall property, declined to comment.

If the deal is completed, the Rams could pay more than $150 million for the 34-acre site, which would be large enough to hold a summer training camp with fans in attendance. The Rams have practiced at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks but have staged training camp at UC Irvine.

The Chargers, who share SoFi Stadium with the Rams, announced in November they agreed to move their practice facility from Costa Mesa to El Segundo, as part of a training complex that would include a team headquarters.

The Woodland Hills site is large enough that Rams owner Stan Kroenke could build a practice facility and team headquarters there, then surround it with a mixed-use development. That would echo his strategy at SoFi Stadium: buy the property, build the stadium, then develop the land around it.


Matthew Stafford wishes he ‘had a better reaction’ to photographer’s fall at Rams parade


From Broderick Turner: Frank Vogel knows all the relevant numbers for his team in the Western Conference. The coach is fully aware of the position the Lakers are in and how challenging the rest of the season will be.

The stakes are high and the Lakers have 24 regular-season games left to determine their fate.

They are 27-31 in the West and hold the ninth seed, which puts them in the NBA’s play-in tournament.

Knowing what position his team is in, Vogel began to rattle off the important numbers after practice Thursday.

The Lakers are six games behind the Denver Nuggets for the sixth spot, the last automatic berth for the playoffs.

The Lakers are 3 1/2 games behind seventh-seeded Minnesota and 1 1/2 games behind the eighth-seeded Clippers.

The Lakers are 2 1/2 games ahead of the 10th-seeded Trail Blazers, who hold the last play-in spot.

Vogel said the Lakers have a goal they’d like to reach.

“We know the goal would be to get to the top six,” he said. “We know that’s a long shot but still within reach if we come out strong. And if we don’t, if we’re not able to get that, then getting into that first play-In game. The first play-in game is double elimination. The 9-10 game is single elimination. Every game is going to matter. We want to move up as much as we can in the standings. But more importantly than all of that, we want to play our best basketball down the stretch and peak going into those playoff series or games.”


From Andrew Greif: The most consequential result Friday for the Clippers won’t be the final score of that night’s game against the Lakers.

Earlier in the day, Clippers star wing Paul George will undergo an MRI on his injured right elbow that has sidelined him since tearing the ulnar collateral ligament Dec. 22.

The Clippers have cautioned that the MRI is just one factor in determining whether George can ramp up his on-court activity in preparation for a return. Lawrence Frank, president of basketball operations, said earlier this month the result wouldn’t signify a “eureka moment for what we do.”

Still, a clean result could certainly signal optimism that George’s recovery might gain speed. A TNT report earlier this month indicated George could be ready to play by the first week of March should his test go well. Lue hasn’t confirmed if that would be the case. But with the Clippers eighth in the Western Conference standings, 1½ games ahead of the Lakers and both teams potentially bound for the play-in tournament, the team would welcome back their leading scorer if George feels he is ready to return for the stretch run, with 21 games to play.


From Luca Evans: Two Southland 40-something sports icons will have prominent roles Sunday in NASCAR’s Wise Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

When the drivers take to the track for introductions, they’ll be bobbing and weaving behind a pace car driven by none other than Albert Pujols.

And fresh off a Super Bowl championship parade float serving as grand marshal on race day will be Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Pujols, 42, and Whitworth, 40, have hinted at retirement, but neither one has announced whether they plan to play in 2022. Pujols, who played with the Dodgers and Angels last season, is a free agent. Whitworth has one year left on his contract.


From Ben Bolch: UCLA coach Chip Kelly is on the verge of completing his staff with the hiring of former Bruins standout Ken Norton Jr. as the inside linebackers coach, according to the Athletic.

An All-American linebacker at UCLA who won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, Norton most recently served as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks for four seasons before coach Pete Carroll dismissed Norton last month.

Norton, 55, got his coaching start under Carroll at USC, spending six seasons as the linebackers coach with the Trojans before following Carroll to the Seahawks in 2010 as their linebackers coach. Norton became the Oakland Raiders’ defensive coordinator in 2015, a post he held for three seasons before rejoining Carroll’s Seahawks staff in the same role in 2018.

At UCLA, Norton replaces Don Pellum, who had been with the Bruins since Kelly’s arrival before the 2018 season.


UEFA will no longer host the Champions League final in St. Petersburg after Russia launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine on Thursday, the Associated Press has learned.

An extraordinary meeting of the UEFA executive committee will be held Friday to discuss the geopolitical crisis and when officials are set to confirm taking the May 28 showpiece game out of Russia, a person with knowledge of the process said Thursday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private talks.

UEFA — the Union of European Football Associations — did publicly rebuke Russia and said it was dealing with the “situation with the utmost seriousness and urgency” while confirming the meeting for Friday.

“UEFA shares the international community’s significant concern for the security situation developing in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion in Ukraine,“ the governing body said in a statement.


1918 — The first neutral site game in NHL history is held in Quebec City. Frank Nighbor scores twice in the first period to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

1955 — Boston beats Milwaukee 62-57 at Providence, R.I. in a game which set records for fewest points scored by one team, and by both teams, since the introduction of the 24-second clock.

1959 — The Boston Celtics beat the Minneapolis Lakers 173-139 as seven NBA records fall. The Celtics set records for most points (179), most points in a half (90), most points in a quarter (52) and most field goals (72). Boston’s Tom Heinsohn leads all scorers with 43 points and Bob Cousy adds 31 while setting an NBA record with 28 assists.

1966 — Richard Petty wins the rain-shortened Daytona 500 by more than a lap at a speed of 160.927 mph. Petty holds the lead for the last 212 miles of the scheduled 500-mile event, which is called five miles from the finish. Cale Yarborough finishes second.

1977 — Stan Mikita of the Chicago Blackhawks scores his 500th goal in a 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

1982 — Florida apprentice Mary Russ becomes the first female jockey to win a Grade I stakes in North America when she captures the Widener Handicap aboard Lord Darnley at Hialeah (Fla.) Park.

1992 — Prairie View sets an NCAA Division I record for most defeats in a season with a 112-79 loss to Mississippi Valley State in the first round of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament. Prairie View’s 0-28 mark breaks the record of 27 losses shared by four teams.

1994 — Sweden wins its first hockey gold medal, defeating Canada 3-2 in the first shootout for a championship at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Canada is 1:49 away from its first championship in 42 years when Magnus Svensson’s power-play goal ties it at 2. Paul Kariya’s shot is stopped by Sweden’s Tommy Salo after Peter Forsberg puts Sweden ahead on his team’s seventh shot.

1998 — Indiana’s 124-59 victory over Portland marks the first time in the NBA’s 51-year history that one team scores more than twice as many points as the other.

2005 — David Toms delivers the most dominant performance in the seven-year history of the Match Play Championship, winning eight out of nine holes to put away Chris DiMarco with the largest margin of victory in the 36-hole final. The score 6 and 5, could have been much worse as Toms was 9 up at one point.

2006 — Effa Manley is the first woman elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. The former Newark Eagles co-owner is among 17 people from the Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues chosen by a special committee.

2010 — Steven Holcomb drives USA-1 to the Olympic gold medal in four-man bobsledding, ending a 62-year drought for the Americans in the event. Holcomb’s four-run time was 3:24.46, with Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz pushing for him.

2015 — Travis Kvapil’s NASCAR Sprint Cup car is stolen early in the day from a hotel parking lot, forcing him to withdraw from a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team didn’t have a backup car in Atlanta, so it’s forced to drop out when the stolen machine couldn’t be located in time for NASCAR’s mandatory inspection.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

The U.S. wins gold in four-man bobsledding at the 2010 Olympics. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.