No. 11 UCLA Upsets No. 1 Kansas, 87-77
Jan. 12, 2002
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Knocked down by crosstown rival Southern California twodays earlier, the always unpredictable UCLA Bruins picked themselves up bybeating top-ranked Kansas 87-77 Saturday.
Matt Barnes scored 27 points and the 11th-ranked Bruins got keycontributions from everybody else to snap the Jayhawks' 13-game winning streakthe same week they took over the top spot from Duke.
'This is exactly why I came to UCLA, to play in this big-timeenvironment,' said freshman Cedric Bozeman, who displayed his promise despitea couple of shaky turnovers.
Playing with the passion and heart often missing against lesser opponents,the Bruins came out scrapping and never let up.
'I thought for 40 minutes all the guys were buying into the system.Everyone was playing hard,' said UCLA's Jason Kapono, who had 10 points andseven rebounds. 'On Thursday, even though we played well and guys werescoring, we just got punked. They all wanted it more. That's something we aretrying to change.'
The Bruins (12-3) lost 81-77 to USC, allowing 24 offensive rebounds.
'It's nice when you can bounce back from a very disappointing loss to USCwith a good win against Kansas,' UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. 'What's mostimportant is our kids' resiliency. We played with poise and composure today.There was a relaxed confidence our team had before and during the game.'
Fans stormed center court at Pauley Pavilion, dancing and jumping incelebration of UCLA's first victory over a top-ranked team at home since Dec.1, 1986, when the Bruins beat North Carolina.
The Bruins had lost the previous five times they played host to a No. 1team. Their up-and-down season has included losses to Ball State andPepperdine, and indifferent efforts against UC Riverside, UC Irvine andColumbia.
'It shows our potential, but last Thursday showed what can happen when wedon't come out to play every game,' Barnes said. 'It's kind of frustrating toknow that you can beat the No. 1 team, but then you can't beat a team in yourown conference that you should beat. We're going to have to pick it up.'
The Jayhawks (13-2), whose only other loss was to Ball State the day beforethat same team upset UCLA in November, had won the last three meetings with theBruins.
UCLA held the nation's leading offense below its 92.6-point average, forcedthe Jayhawks into 21 turnovers and never trailed after the 10-minute mark ofthe first half.
'What surprised me was our lack of poise and our turnovers,' Kansas coachRoy Williams said. 'They were quicker and were out in the passing lanes. Theywere so much more active on defense than they were on Thursday night.'
Billy Knight hit all six of his free throws over the final 1:05 after Kansasgot within four on a three-point play by Drew Gooden. Knight finished with 20points.
The game had all things UCLA loves: a highly ranked opponent, a nationaltelevision audience, numerous NBA scouts and a loud crowd. And for the firsttime in a long time, the Bruins didn't depend on one player to do it all.
Dan Gadzuric had 13 points and Bozeman had four points, three assists andfour rebounds, while freshman Dijon Thompson had five points.
Gooden had 16 of his 22 points in the second half for Kansas. Kirk Hinrichadded 17 points, including five 3-pointers before fouling out with 3:13remaining, and Jeff Boschee added 14 points.
Clinging to an 80-77 lead, the Bruins survived a scare with 1:34 remaining.Bozeman threw a pass into the hands of Gooden, but Nick Collison was called fortraveling.
Kansas didn't score again, with Gooden and Boschee missing shots and UCLAremaining steady at the line.
'They did a good job denying me the ball and when I did get it, there werethree men on me,' Gooden said. 'What hurts so much is that we came back andbrought it within a couple possessions, but made too many big mistakes.'
UCLA stretched its lead to 15 points three times in the second half, thelast time on a drive by Bozeman with 14:04 remaining.
The Jayhawks were barely into the half before foul trouble piled up. Hinrichand Aaron Miles each got their third, and Collison his fourth.
But they used 3-pointers to cut the 15-point deficit to 65-61 with 7:38remaining. Hinrich hit three in a 21-10 run, while Gooden added six points andtook the ball away from Barnes to set up Hinrich's last 3-pointer that cappedthe spurt.
Barnes scored off his own offensive rebound and Kapono hit a jumper topushed UCLA's lead to 69-61 with 6:39 remaining.
The Jayhawks closed to 78-74 with 1:57 remaining on a 3-pointer and dunk byGooden after Knight turned the ball over.
'They beat us up so now we have to regroup,' Hinrich said. 'We would makea run, get back in the game and then do something not smart.'
Kansas didn't follow its trend of jumping out to an early lead. The Jayhawksshot 34 percent in the first half, committed 16 turnovers and found themselvestrailing 46-35 at halftime.
The Bruins also didn't play like their usual lethargic selves at the start.They hustled after loose balls, crashed the boards, got key contributions fromtheir three freshmen and shot 56 percent.