No. 3 UCLA Victorious Over Houston, 71-60

Nov 20, 2001

By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer

LAHAINA, Hawaii - UCLA knew what happened to the other Top Five teamsin Monday's opening round of the Maui Invitational and the Bruins made sure itdidn't happen to them.

Jason Kapono scored 16 points to lead No. 3 UCLA to a 71-60 victory overHouston in the first-round game at the Lahaina Civic Center.

Earlier, No. 1 Duke squeezed past Seton Hall 80-79 and No. 4 Kansas lost toBall State 93-91.

The Bruins will play Ball State in Tuesday's semifinals.

'This was the first time tipping for real for everybody and it just doesn'tmatter who you're playing,' UCLA coach Steve Lavin. 'You get fired up,coaches and players, and we started jittery and then played effectively in thesecond half.'

Kapono had nine points in the second half, all on 3-pointers. His first came23 seconds into the half and extended the Bruins' 30-27 lead. His second gaveUCLA a 49-36 lead, their biggest to that point, and his last one came with 4:37left and made it 69-54.

Kapono finished 4-for-7 from 3-point range and the Bruins were 8-for-16.

Freshman guard Cedric Bozeman added 13 points for UCLA, including a3-pointer that gave the Bruins their biggest lead of the game, 64-48, with 6:52left. Matt Barnes had 13 points and 12 rebounds for UCLA.

'I just tried to stay in the flow and was trying to stay poised and gathermyself,' Bozeman said of his debut.

Lavin heaped praise on the 6-foot-6 point guard.

'I thought for his first game being in an event like this on nationaltelevision he played extremely well,' Lavin said. 'He keeps his poise andstays patient with himself.'

Bruins starting center Dan Gadzuric finished with five points and tworebounds after playing just four minutes in the first half because of foultrouble and missing five minutes in the second half after spraining his leftankle.

'He'll get treatment tomorrow and it will be a game-time decision, but fromthe way he sounded I don't think he'll play,' Lavin said. 'He's sore.'

Louis Truscott, a transfer from Nebraska playing in his first game forHouston, had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Patrick Okafor had 13 points.Houston struggled against UCLA's zone, going 3-for-18 from 3-point range.

'We couldn't get shots to do down,' Houston coach Ray McCallum said.'Their zone got us back on our heels and we didn't do a good job attacking itand they were able to wear us down.'

The win gave UCLA a 7-2 lead in the series between the schools and theBruins have won the last six. Houston's last victory was Jan. 20, 1968, whenthe second-ranked Cougars, led by Elvin Hayes, beat the top-ranked Bruins, ledby Lew Alcindor, 71-69 before a crowd of 50,000 at the Astrodome.

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