Balanced UCLA pulls away in second half to defeat Oregon State 69-62 in Pac-12 opener

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Friday, December 29, 2023

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- - Dylan Andrews scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, Adem Bona also had 13 points and UCLA took control after halftime for a 69-62 win over Oregon State in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams on Thursday night.

The Bruins (6-6), who ended a four-game losing streak, made 6 of 10 3-pointers and shot 53% (16 of 30) in the second half, outscoring the Beavers 45-34.

Brandon Williams had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, seven points coming in the first half when he made all 3 of his shots but UCLA shot just 31%. Lazar Stefanovic and Will McClendon both had 10 points. Bona had eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

Dexter Akanno had 22 points for the Beavers (8-3), who had their five-game winning streak snapped with their first home loss. Jordan Pope added 13 points and Tyler Bilodeau had 10 with 14 rebounds.

UCLA improved to 81-5 under coach Mick Cronin when holding teams to 65 or fewer points and the Beavers were 7-1 when scoring 70.

McClendon hit a jumper to put UCLA on top 37-35 five minutes into the second half, the Bruins' first lead since 3-2. Akanno answered with a 3-pointer for the Beavers but then UCLA scored five.

OSU scored but then the Bruins reeled off 12 straight. After a 3-pointer by Andrews to make it 50-40, Stefanovic made two free throws after OSU coach Wayne Tinkle received a technical. On the ensuing possessions, McClendon's layup made it 54-40 with nine minutes to go.

Michael Rataj ended the drought with a 3-pointer at 8:34. On Oregon State's next possession, Akanno attempted, and made, the Beavers' first free throws to make it 54-45 at the 7:50 mark. Pope followed with a basket, but Oregon State could get no closer than seven the rest of the way.

The teams, which entered the game among the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country at about 29% were both over 42% with a combined 18 of 40.

UCLA went 9 of 19 behind the arc (47%) and 17 of 43 (39%) inside the line.


The Bruins go to Oregon on Saturday while USC visits Oregon State.

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