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The Fearsome Threesome, Epsiode 11: The Bruins Quack Back

Revenge, a dish best served cold. So, very cold.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at UCLA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins passed all the tests during their 82-79 victory over the Oregon Ducks in the Pauley Pavilion.

The start of the game seemed eerily similar to their previous game in Eugene. Oregon jumped out to a 19 point lead and all hope seemed lost. But, as we learned from the recent Super Bowl, no lead is safe. UCLA came storming back with a balanced offense and their best defensive performance of the season. Steve Alford debuted a new 3-2 zone with Lonzo Ball roaming the top of the zone to add speed to their switching.

With 11 minutes in the game the Bruins were down 67-56 and things looked bleak to say the least. The UCLA defense locked down and held Oregon to three points for following eight minutes of the game. Which allowed UCLA to take a 72-70 lead with four minutes left in the game. The teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the game and one moment stood out from the rest. With a minute left, Lonzo Ball drove to the lane and made a circus layup and on the following possession he made a three from five feet behind the three-point arch. The Ducks had a chance to send the game into overtime on the final possession but yet again, the Bruins held on, forced an airball and sealed their victory over the No. 5 team in the nation.

This was a measuring stick game for the Bruins to see how far they’ve progressed since their heartbreaking loss in Eugene. It’s safe to say that the team has improved, especially on the defensive end. Now, the issue of consistency looms large for UCLA. If and for UCLA it is a big if, the defense must continue to have these games. Ike Anigbogu contributed with three blocks including one that came with under three minutes left in the ball that continued the defensive momentum for the Bruins.

Offensively, the Bruins were as balanced as they’ve been all year. Ball and Aaron Holiday lead the team in scoring with 15. Ball also contributed with 11 rebounds to lock up another double-double.

The Bruins will surely skyrocket back into the top five with this win. They need to continue their defensive momentum against lowly Oregon State and rival USC.