Oregon State (15-12) at UCLA (21-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 2, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pauley Pavilion (13,800) -- Los Angeles, California. Television: FS1. Home Record: OSU 11-3, UCLA 15-2. Away Record: OSU 3-8, UCLA 4-4. Neutral Record: OSU 1-1, UCLA 2-1. Conference Record: OSU 7-8, UCLA 10-5. Series Record: UCLA leads, 89-36.
GAME NOTES: Back at full strength, the UCLA Bruins will try to stop the bleeding in their final home game of the season, as they host the Oregon State Beavers in Pac-12 Conference action at Pauley Pavilion.
Leading scorers Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson were suspended just hours before UCLA faced Oregon on Thursday night. The loss of two of their most important players clearly affected the Bruins, who dropped an 87-83 decision in a double-overtime marathon to the Ducks. The loss was the second straight for UCLA, which is still 21-7 overall and in second place in the Pac-12 standings (10-5). They will visit Washington and Washington State to finish off the regular season.
Oregon State earned a 76-66 win over USC on Thursday, its second win in the last three games, but just the second in the last six overall. The Beavers are 15-12 on the year, including 7-8 against the rest of the Pac-12, which puts them in a three-way tie for eighth place with Oregon and Utah. They face stern tests in their final two games against third-ranked Arizona and a 20-win Arizona State squad.
It has been exactly a month since Oregon State pulled off a 71-67 upset of UCLA at Gill Coliseum. Surprisingly enough, the Beavers have won two of the last three dates with the Bruins, who lead the all-time series by a commanding 89-36 margin.
Oregon State shot 53.2 percent from the field and also sank 20-of-31 shots at the free-throw line to knock off USC the last time out. The Beavers, who were led by 14 points from Roberto Nelson, limited the Trojans to 37.3 percent shooting and also earned a 39-31 advantage on the glass.
Although it has not led to more wins, Oregon State has been an efficient offensive team this season, shooting the third-best percentage from the field (.484) among all Pac-12 squads. However, they have some serious flaws, especially on the boards (34.1 rpg) where they are next-to-last. Nelson (20.5 ppg) is the league's leading scorer, so a 14-point effort against USC was a step back for him. Joining Nelson in helping the offensive effort are Devon Collier (13.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Angus Brandt (12.6 ppg, 4 rpg). Brandt had 13 points and Collier chipped in 12 off the bench for the Beavers against the Trojans.
David Wear hit a miracle 3-pointer as time expired to force overtime, but the Bruins were unable to take care of business in the two extra sessions against Oregon. In the absence of Anderson and Adams, Bryce Alford erupted for a career-high 31 points, but it was all for naught.
Adams (17.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.9 spg) and Anderson (14.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 6.9 rpg) will be back in the mix on Sunday, which is obviously good news for UCLA. Both players are more than just scorers, with Adams leading the Pac-12 in steals and Anderson ranking first in assists and fourth in rebounds. Norman Powell (11.3 ppg) and Zach LaVine are the only other double-digit scorers on the roster, while Alford (8.4 ppg) has been a solid shooter off the bench. When they are at full strength the Bruins are extremely difficult to slow down. They are among the top-10 teams in the country in scoring (82.9 ppg), assists (17.4 apg) and field goal percentage (.491).
With Adams and Anderson both returning to the floor for the Bruins, this game should go easily in the favor of the hosts, who will certainly have the memory of their last outing with Oregon State fresh in their minds.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCLA 81, Oregon State 70
03/02 10:38:38 ET