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  • Bruins knock Ducks out of Pac-12 tourney

    UCLA uses 16-4 run to start second half to pull away for easy victory
  • LAS VEGAS — UCLA ended the regular season with a thud, losing to a team that had won two of its previous its previous 17 games.
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  • LAS VEGAS — UCLA ended the regular season with a thud, losing to a team that had won two of its previous its previous 17 games.
    After a few days to rest and reflect, the Bruins took out their frustrations on Oregon.
    Playing well at both ends, UCLA turned what was expected to be close game into a rout, using a big second-half run to race past Oregon 82-63 in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament on Thursday night.
    "We responded really well tonight coming off the game that we had to end the regular season, and taking a couple days off to clear our minds and kind of get well mentally and physically," UCLA coach Steve Alford said. "That was really big."
    UCLA (24-8) couldn't seem to do anything right in its season-ending loss to Washington State, an unexpected bump in the road for a team with solid NCAA tournament credentials.
    The Bruins did little wrong in flying past the Ducks, opening the second half with a 16-4 run while keeping Oregon's shooters locked down.
    UCLA shot 57 percent from the floor and made 8 of 16 from 3-point range, while Oregon went 8 for 26 from the arc.
    Jordan Adams scored 15 points and Travis Wear and Zach LaVine added 14 points each for UCLA, which will play the Stanford-Arizona State winner in Friday's semifinals.
    "We came out in the first half and each team was throwing blows at each other. Oregon came in real hot," Wear said. "I think we made some adjustments at halftime to relieve some of their pressure and defensively we just came out and shut them down in the beginning of the second half."
    The Ducks (23-9) had been on quite a run since early February and matched the Bruins in an entertaining first half. Oregon had no answer when the Bruins started to pull away, unable to get shots to fall or stop UCLA from scoring to end an eight-game winning streak.
    Joseph Young was the only Oregon player to have any sustained success against UCLA, scoring 29 points while hitting six of his 11 3-point attempts.
    The Ducks won't have to worry too much; they should be a lock for the NCAA tournament when Selection Sunday rolls around.
    "Sunday we'll be excited for the selection show then we'll get ready to play," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "It was a disappointing effort tonight, but we'll bounce back. We've had to bounce back before and our guys will be ready to go Thursday or Friday, whichever day that we're playing."
    The opening Pac-12 quarterfinal was a blowout, the second one a defensive struggle.
    The third one figured to be a blur with two of the conferences' best offensive and most athletic teams hooking up.
    The Ducks were arguably the conference's best team at the end of the regular season, overcoming a shaky stretch by winning their final seven games. Oregon kept it going in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament, blowing past rival Oregon State with a big second-half run for an 88-74 victory.
    UCLA stumbled a bit down the stretch, losing three of its final five games, including the not-so-great one to struggling Washington State in its finale. The Bruins played well enough before that to earn the Pac-12's No. 2 seed and a bye for the first round.
    The game came as advertised, the teams zipping back and forth like it was a relay race, trading dunks, 3-pointers and athletic moves to the basket.
    UCLA made 15 of 27 shots, Oregon 13 of 24, neither team able to get much separation.
    Kyle Anderson had the highlight of the half, launching himself over Oregon's Richard Amardi for a dunk that had the crowd still buzzing 30 seconds later and left Mardi dazed on the floor.
    The Bruins kept the reel rolling to start the second half, making eight of their first 10 shots during an 18-4 run that put them up 55-39.
    UCLA made 15 of 26 shots in the second half and clamped down on the Ducks defensively, holding them to 35 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes.
    "The second half we didn't get stops. We were scrambling a little bit there," Altman said. "We did have some open looks. We didn't hit shots, shots that we'd been hitting ... but it boiled down to defensively us just not getting stops."
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