The Ugly Duck Game — Bruins blow 13-point Halftime lead to fall 75-68 in Oregon, their SIXTH STRAIGHT LOSS outside of Los Angeles
Apparently, staying in a Holiday Inn Express is NOT making the Bruins experts at Basketball. I actually have no idea which hotel chain has been housing the Bruins when they travel this year, but whichever one it is, it isn’t working. Not counting the spanking they inflicted on last place usc at the nearby Galen Center, UCLA has now lost 6 straight (real) road games, after their 75-68 collapse in Eugene on Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins started out fired up and sharp, shooting out to a 13-4 lead, with David Wear scoring 7 of their first 9 points. The domination continued throughout the 1st half, as the Bruins played efficiently on Offense, while holding the ice cold Ducks to 21% shooting on the other end. But everything turned upside-down right after the Intermission, with Oregon running off a 15-2 spurt to tie the game.
It stayed close the rest of the way, but David Wear cooled off, Josh Smith didn’t bring his A game, and the Bruin Defense couldn’t contain the Duck’s “S’s,” Garrett Sim or E.J. Singler, the latter scoring a career-high 26 points. Despite missing a whopping 11 of 21 Free Throws, the Bruins were still in striking distance down the stretch, but Singler and the Ducks kept sinking THEIR Free Throws, keeping the Bruins just out of reach.
The Bruins’ next two games are at “home” in the Sports Arena, so maybe they can re-capture some momentum before heading back out on the treacherous road, in an effort to break the out-of-L.A. cold spell. Even if they can’t, there is one good fact: The Pac-12 Tournament is in L.A., so maybe the Bruins can still squeak into the NCAA Tourney, by winning the Conference Tourney in the friendly confines of the Staples Center.