LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Smith scored the go-ahead basket with 21 seconds left on a desperate bank shot after UCLA blew a 12-point second-half lead, and the Bruins hung on for a 68-67 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night.
Tres Tinkle airballed a potential game-winning 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds to go for the Beavers, who didn’t take their first lead until 1:26 remaining in the game.
Moses Brown had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Bruins (14-13, 7-7 Pac-12), who got back to .500 in league play with a handful of regular-season games remaining.
Jaylen Hands added 12 points, but missed a pair of free throws in the final second with UCLA clinging to a one-point lead.
Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 21 points and Tinkle added 19 for Oregon State (16-9, 8-5), which fell into a second-place tie with idle Arizona State and Utah in the league standings. The Beavers’ two-game winning streak ended.
After UCLA led by 12 early in the second half it became a back-and-forth game over the final 4:19.
The Beavers twice got within one point before they tied it 65-all on a 3-pointer by Antoine Vernon, his first basket of the game.
Thompson’s layup gave Oregon State its first lead of the game, 67-65.
Hands made 1 of 2 free throws to get UCLA to 67-66.
After Tinkle missed a 3-pointer, Smith put up an out-of-control shot with Thompson guarding him closely that banked in. Smith got fouled and missed the free throw. The Bruins were 1 of 4 from the line in the final 1:13.
Oregon State closed to 61-60 on Thompson’s basket, capping a 16-6 spurt that included 3-pointers by Zach Reichle and Thompson.
Tinkle’s inside basket again drew the Beavers within one before Vernon’s 3-pointer tied it up.
UCLA starting guard Prince Ali missed his first game of the season because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The junior guard who averages 9.6 points is day-to-day. Freshman David Singleton earned his first start in place of Ali.
Oregon State: The loss kept the Beavers from sweeping UCLA for the first time since 1987-88.
UCLA: The Bruins have four regular-season games remaining, three against teams that are above them in the Pac-12 standings.
Oregon State: Visits Southern California on Saturday.
UCLA: Hosts Oregon on Saturday and goes for a season sweep.
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