No. 9 Oregon beats No. 14 UCLA, remains undefeated in Pac-12
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oregon senior Lexi Bando made her final game at Pauley Pavilion a grand one.
She hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 59 seconds left for the dagger in No. 9 Oregon’s 70-61 victory over No. 14 UCLA on Sunday night.
Ruthy Hebard scored 19 points, Sabrina Ionescu had 18 and Maite Cazorla 17.
The Ducks (15-2, 4-0) won for the seventh consecutive game and remained perfect in conference play. Their 4-0 start is the best start in conference play since 2001.
“That sealed the game,” Hebard said about Bando’s 3-pointer. “It made us really pumped up. I’m really glad she made that three. It’s really good for her and all of us.”
Bando’s 3-pointer gave the Ducks a 63-59 lead, and she iced the game with a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left. Bando is from Eugene and her family was on the trip to California.
“She doesn’t get free very often in L.A. (to shoot),” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. “A wide open 3-pointer for Bando is like a layup for most people. That’s what you need out of your senior. I’m happy for her. Her family came down for this trip. It was her last go-round at Pauley Pavilion.”
Bando has the best active career 3-point shooting percentage in the NCAA at 45.7.
The Bruins (11-4, 2-2) had won a school-record 20 consecutive home Pac-12 games.
Monqiue Billings led UCLA with 22 points and 10 rebounds — her 37th career double-double and eighth of the season — and Jordin Canada added 19 points.
UCLA played a ranked opponent for the third consecutive game and won two of them.
“Two out of three is cool but 3 of 3 would’ve been better,” Billings said.
Oregon opened on a 9-0 run. UCLA didn’t score for the first 6:47 of the game but rallied. Canada ended the drought with a long range jumper from the right wing.
Oregon led 27-23 at halftime despite committing 12 turnovers.
UCLA took its first lead of the game at 34-31 on a Japreece Dean 3-pointer with 6:38 left in the third quarter. UCLA held its last lead at 59-58 before a free throw and Bando’s big 3-pointer.
Oregon outrebounded UCLA 42-39 and managed to win despite 18 turnovers.
“There was a lot of frustrating parts,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “We missed 20 shots in what we like to call the war zone. We obviously struggled against their zone. That slowed us down. We weren’t able to get some of the passion plays and turnovers and runouts. Their guards are tough. We said that after the Oregon State game, that we would have the exact same gameplan but that they would have better guards.”
And one, Bando, delivered the knockout punch.
The Ducks swept UCLA and USC on a weekend roadtrip for the first time in school history.
“Last week we held serve at home, which is what you need to do. This is a trip and from what I understand Oregon has never swept. Ever. To me, that’s quite something. That says something about these guys. UCLA is a great team. That’s a team that can go to the Final Four. To stand up to them toe-to-toe I think says something about us. Excited to be 4-0 but the reality is we’ll enjoy it and (Monday) we’re thinking Arizona. That’s all that matters.”
Oregon: The Ducks proved to be the team to beat in the earlygoing of conference play. The only other undefeated team in Pac-12 play is Arizona State.
UCLA: The Bruins welcomed a tough stretch to start Pac-12 conference play and even with Sunday’s home loss, it should serve them well come NCAA Tournament seeding time.
Oregon: Hosts Arizona on Friday night.
UCLA: Plays at Utah on Friday night.
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