LOS ANGELES (AP) — Norman Powell bounced back from a four-point game with a double-digit effort and monster jam that moved UCLA into a second-place tie in the Pac-12.
Powell scored 23 points, Kevon Looney added 18 and UCLA defeated Oregon 72-63 Saturday to tie the Ducks in the league standings with five games remaining.
The Bruins (16-10, 8-5) won their second straight and fifth in their last six games while improving to 13-1 at Pauley Pavilion this season.
“We’re really just playing well and it’s really helping us,” said Tony Parker, who had nine points. “Norman has been making big plays. He caught my lob, one of my Chris Paul plays of the day.”
Powell ended the first half with a monster dunk that he rated among the top five of his four-year career.
“I’ve never seen the pick and roll split like that,” Bruins coach Steve Alford said. “That was impressive.”
Powell credited his read of Oregon’s defense in helping him get to the rim.
“They hedge hard on screens and I saw a little space where he hedged hard too fast when I was coming off the screen,” said Powell, who had his worst Pac-12 scoring effort of the season in a win over Oregon State on Wednesday. “The rest of it was instinctive.”
Jalil Abdul-Bassit hit a career-high seven 3-pointers in scoring a career-best 24 points for the Ducks (18-8, 8-5), who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Joseph Young added 18 points and Elgin Cook had 12.
“It felt like every shot I took was a wide-open shot,” Abdul-Bassit said. “The second half was tough for us. They knew who our shooters were and we also stopped our ball movement.”
The Ducks tied the game at 46-all early in the second half. From there, UCLA went on an 18-10 run to extend its lead to 64-56. Powell scored 11 points in the spurt.
Oregon never got closer than two points the rest of the way, when Abdul-Bassit made his sixth 3-pointer midway through the half. The Ducks had just three of their 11 3-pointers in the second half, when they were held to 35 percent shooting from the floor.
“They had a lot of tips, putbacks and offensive boards that didn’t allow us to get into transition,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “Our ball movement stopped in the second half. We took some early shots that kept us out of rhythm. There was no flow that half.”
The teams traded runs in the first half, when neither led by more than eight points and both offenses were in high gear.
The Bruins came out quick, streaking to a 10-2 lead.
“Early in the season we had some bad starts and Oregon likes to start fast,” Looney said. “Coach really preached to us about starting off well.”
The Ducks, propelled by four 3-pointers, answered with an 18-4 run to go up 20-14. UCLA got back in it on a 17-8 spurt, including three 3-pointers to regain a 31-28 lead. Helped by Thomas Welsh’s tip-in of Bryce Alford’s missed 3-pointer, the Bruins took a 41-40 lead into halftime.
UCLA shot 56 percent from the field, while the Ducks hit 50 percent from 3-point range in the half.
Oregon: Abdul-Bassit’s previous career high was 18 points. … The Ducks end the regular season playing five of seven road games. … They split the season series, having beaten UCLA 82-64 on Jan. 24.
UCLA: The Bruins honored the 1995 national championship team at halftime. Coach Jim Harrick, who was greeted by a standing ovation, and players Ed O’Bannon, Charles O’Bannon, Toby Bailey, Tyus Edney and Kris Johnson were on hand. Ed O’Bannon won an antitrust class action lawsuit against the NCAA last year, challenging its use of images of former players for commercial purposes.
Looney had 11 rebounds to go with his 18 points, giving him 13 double-doubles in 26 games — the most by any freshman in the country.
He showed some long-range touch, too, making 2 of 3 3-pointers.
“I had a lot of confidence coming into the season,” Looney said. “As the season has gone on, I’ve gotten better.”
Oregon: Host Colorado on Wednesday.
UCLA: At Arizona State on Wednesday.