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The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly

College Basketball Daily Report / UCLA

January 31, 2000|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

The just-completed two-game trip to Oregon provided the greatest example yet of the Bruins' season-long struggle with consistency.

Thursday at Oregon State, UCLA started poorly, fell behind by 11 points, then used a 24-3 run to take control for good. The combined second-half margin was 52-27, arguably its best stretch of the season.

Saturday at Oregon, UCLA had a very good start, led by 12 points, then was on the wrong side of a 22-3 run (including 18-0) and got buried in the second half. The Ducks won those final 20 minutes, 44-27, a dismal stretch for the Bruins that included 6:38 without them scoring a point.

"In the second half, they just kind of took the game," Bruin Coach Steve Lavin said of Oregon. "I think what made it even more disappointing was that we had played so well before in every aspect of the game. Then those last 25 minutes, we played so poorly."

So UCLA left with a split. Again. The Bruins have yet to win two games in the same week since Pacific 10 Conference play started, including the mid-January block of losing to USC and beating North Carolina.

Their longest winning streak is three, done against Fairfield, Iona and Morgan State at the start of the season and then against South Florida, Pepperdine and Purdue around the holidays. Their longest in conference is two, by beating Arizona State at Pauley Pavilion last Saturday and then at Oregon State on Thursday.

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