Feb. 22, 2001
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - UCLA goes after its sixth straightvictory Thursday when it meets Oregon ina critical Pac-10 game.
The 15th-ranked Bruins (17-6, 10-2) are one game behind No. 1Stanford inthe conference race and have handed the Cardinal their only loss of theseason.UCLA, which has overcome a 25-point setback at Arizona and a 29-point defeatatCalifornia, is apparently ready for the stretch run.
Coach Steve Lavin's team swept its Arizona opponents at PauleyPavilion lastweek, capped by a 73-68 triumph over Arizona State on Saturday. Billy Knightscored a career-high 23 points, while Earl Watson added 15 points and acareer-best eight steals for the Bruins, who showed no letdown from theirovertime victory over Arizona on Thursday.
'You don't care how you win as long as you get the `W,'' Watsonsaid,'but we've got to clean things up. If we're going to do well, I've got totakecare of the ball better.'
Jason Kapono, who was held to nine points in 21 minutes due to foultroubleon Saturday, leads the team in scoring at 17.8 points per game and isshooting47.8 percent from 3-point range this season.
Oregon (13-10, 4-9), which had NCAA tournament aspirations followinga 10-1start, is now relegated to the role of spoiler. The Ducks, though, snapped afour-game losing streak with an 85-73 victory at Washington on Saturday.
Freshman forward Luke Jackson recorded just the second triple-doubleinschool history, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.Jackson,who is averaging 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds, has earned a spot in thestartinglineup for this game.
'That was incredible, and we should take time out to recognize whataspecial feat it was, and what a special player he is,' Ducks coach ErnieKentsaid. 'To have a freshman come out with a game like that, on the road, whentypically a freshman might shut down on you at this point, facing the typeofseason we're having, that was pretty special.'
Bryan Bracey is averaging team highs of 18.7 points and 7.0 reboundsforOregon, which is 1-3 against ranked opponents this season. The Ducks are 3-4inconference play at MacArthur Court, losing three in a row.
Matt Barnes scored a career-high 26 points and Watson added 20 fortheBruins in a 98-88 victory over the Ducks at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 27.Frederick Jones scored 22 points for Oregon, which is 18-70 all-time againstUCLA.