Oregon State - UCLA Preview

Feb. 23, 2001

UCLA tries to keep its focus on the task at hand in the Pac-10Conferencerace as it visits Oregon State on Saturday.

The 15th-ranked Bruins (18-6, 11-2 Pac-10) are one game behind No. 1Stanford in the conference standings and have handed the Cardinal their onlyloss. Stanford comes to Pauley Pavilion next Saturday for a game that coulddecide the Pac-10 champion, and possibly the top seed in the West Region forthe NCAA tournament.

But for that game to have any significance, the Bruins first must takecareof the Beavers (10-16, 4-10) and complete a sweep of the season series.

UCLA came away with an 88-73 victory over the Ducks at MacArthur Courtin the first game of the Oregon swing on Thursday.

Jason Kapono had 20 points and 12 rebounds while Dan Gadzuriccontributed 16and eight for the Bruins, who built a 23-point lead and had it whittled toeight in the second half. UCLA, though, gained some confidence by winningdownthe stretch without point guard Earl Watson, who fouled out with 12:07 toplay.

'It's a great sign of maturity for our team that we can execute withoutEarl,' said Matt Barnes, who led UCLA with 21 points.

The Bruins have matched their longest winning streak of the season atsixgames, and have won 14 of their last 16 since an 80-70 home loss to NorthCarolina on Dec. 23 left them with a 4-4 record.

Oregon State played the role of spoiler perfectly Thursday, upendingSouthern California 67-52. Brian Jackson scored 22 points while DeaundraTanneradded 13 and nine rebounds for the Beavers, who avenged a 73-47 rout at USConJan. 27.

'They spanked us pretty good last time, and we didn't forget that,'Jackson said.

Jason Heide also scored 13 points for the Beavers, who held the Trojansto30 percent shooting from the field, including 4-for-21 from 3-point range.

'I thought we did an excellent job on defense tonight,' Oregon StatecoachRitchie McKay said. 'I don't know if it was their poor shooting or our gooddefense. It was probably a combination of both.'

Kapono scored 19 points and hit five 3-pointers as the Bruins rolled toa67-40 victory over Oregon State on Jan. 25. UCLA has won the last four gamesbetween the schools and holds a 69-30 lead in the all-time series.

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