Oregon versus The Bay
We start this week of Pac-12 action off with the Oregon Ducks
thrilling heartbreaking comeback victory over the California Golden Bears. Cal stormed out to a 30-16 halftime lead, but turnovers, hesitation to take a shot, and an inability to force stops led to an improbable 68-65 Oregon win thanks to a Dillon Brooks three-pointer which tickled the twine with less than one second remaining on the clock. Brooks led all scorers with 22 points, while Chris Boucher added 18 off of the bench. Jabari Bird led the Bears with 20 points and 9 rebounds on 8 of 13 from the field, while Ivan Rabb added another double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, though he struggled to find room to operate which led to a struggle shooting the ball. Charlie Moore struggled as well, making just one of his eight shots, while a costly turnover towards the end of the game after breaking Oregon’s press proved a key moment in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Fresh off of their surprise victory against Cal, the Stanford Cardinal cruised to a 79-66 victory over the Oregon State Beavers. Reid Travis, Marcus Allen and Dorian Pickens led the way for the Cardinal as the Beavers struggled to defend them all night. Travis notched 17 points and 8 rebounds. Allen scored 17, too, and Pickens added 16. The trio combined to shoot 21 of 32 from the field.
The Bears responded from the crushing defeat against Oregon by thoroughly dismantling the Beavers 76-46. The star performer was Sam Singer, who managed to score 14 points on a perfect 7 of 7 from the field. Rabb narrowly missed out on another double-double as he tallied 16 points and 9 rebounds. Bird took a week off from donning Superman’s cape as he shot just 3 of 13 from the field and missed all seven of his three-point attempts. The Bears picked up a much-needed win as they attempt to maintain 4th place in the standings and a bye in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Oregon managed to pull off another great escape as they took down Stanford 75-73 thanks to a Jordan Bell putback with 14 seconds remaining. Oregon led by double-digits in the first half, but the Cardinal fought back every time and managed to hold a lead briefly, but Brooks and the Ducks refused to lose on this roadtrip. Brooks scored 14 points on 7 of 13 shooting, while Boucher made 6 of 7 shots en-route to 13 points. Despite the loss, Travis was the star performer with 27 points and 14 rebounds on 10 of 13 from the field.
Los Angeles versus The Desert
The USC Trojans were able to hang tough with the Arizona Wildcats for a half, but lost touch after halftime in a 90-77 loss. Bennie Boatwright scored 23 points on 6 of 11 shooting, while Chimezie Metu added 15 points and 12 rebounds. Allonzo Trier’s 25 points led the Wildcats in what was perhaps his best performance of the season. Rawle Alkins and Dusan Ristic made key contributions from the bench as they combined to score 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting.
The UCLA Bruins managed not to look ahead to their matchup with Arizona and instead took care of business against the Arizona State Sun Devils by winning 87-75. Lonzo Ball, you might know him as the guy that’s supposed to be better than Steph Curry (according to Ball’s father, anyways), managed just 4 points and 5 assists. Though he did pull down 8 rebounds, you would expect more from someone with the amount of hype surrounding Ball. T.J. Leaf was the real star for the Bruins as he poured in 25 points and added 9 rebounds, while making 11 of 16 shots. Arizona State’s Torian Graham tried to keep his team in the game with 28 points on 7 of 14 shooting from downtown, but to no avail.
The main event of the week was UCLA travelling to Tucson to take on Arizona. In a surprising upset, the Bruins managed to sneak out with a 77-72 win as they avenged their home loss to Arizona earlier during the season. The Bruins bullied the Wildcats on the boards, which lead to a 19-4 advantage on second-chance points. UCLA turned up the defensive intensity and managed to hold multiple double-digit leads in the second half. Arizona attempted to do their best Oregon impression, but ultimately could not pull off the escape act. Thomas Welsh scored 14 points and added 8 rebounds, while Leaf added 12 and 7. Ball put forth a better performance with 11 points and 8 assists. Trier one-upped his performance against USC with an amazing effort in this one, as he scored 28 points on 11 o 14 shooting.
USC literally threw away a win over Arizona State as they suffered a shocking 83-82 loss. The Trojans held a six-point lead with 30 seconds left in the game before Tra Holder made a layup to cut the lead to four. After a missed free throw attempt by USC, Arizona State responded with a three-pointer to cut the lead to one. Boatwright threw away an inbounds pass, which led to Holder making two free throws to ultimately win the game once Boatwright missed a three-pointer at the buzzer. After their 14-0 start to the season, the Trojans are just 7-8 since.
Battle in the Mountains
The Utah Utes continued to own the Colorado Buffaloes as they picked up an 86-81 road win. Kyle Kuzma scored 25 points on 7 of 11 from the field and 10 of 12 from the charity stripe. 21 of his 25 points were scored in the second half. Derrick White led the Buffs with 31 points on 10 of 17 from the field. The difference proved to be Colorado’s inability to force Utah to miss shots. The Utes shot a blistering 26 of 47 from the field for 55.3 percent. They also added 25 points at the foul line.
The (cr)Apple Cup
In yet another game without Markelle Fultz, the Washington Huskies disappointing season limped towards its conclusion with another loss. This time on the road against the Washington State Cougars 79-71. The Cougars managed just five bench points, but it didn’t matter because their starting five dominated the game. Josh Hawkinson scored 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting, while Charles Callison added 18 points. Carlos Johnson and Noah Dickerson attempted to keep Washington competitive, but their efforts weren’t enough. Dickerson scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, while Johnson added 17 points.
Oregon 15-2, 26-4
Arizona 15-2, 26-4
UCLA 13-3, 26-3
California 10-6, 19-9
Utah 9-7, 18-10
USC 8-8, 21-8
Arizona State 7-10, 14-16
Colorado 6-10, 16-13
Stanford 6-10, 14-14
Washington State 6-10, 13-15
Washington 2-14, 9-19
Oregon State 1-16, 5-25
Washington State at USC, Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Network
Washington at UCLA, Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports 1
Stanford at Colorado, Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2
California at Utah, Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU
California at Colorado, Saturday at 11 a.m. on Pac-12 Network
Stanford at Utah, Saturday at 1 p.m. on Pac-12 Network
Arizona at Arizona State, Saturday at 1 p.m. on CBS
Oregon at Oregon State, Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPN2
Washington at USC, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Network
Washington State at UCLA, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU