Bruins Fall To Beavers In Pac-10 Tournament, 79-72

March 10, 2005

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Chris Stephens scored 17 points, Nick DeWitz had 15points and eight rebounds, and Oregon State surprised UCLA 79-72 in afirst-round game of the Pac-10 tournament to perhaps damage the Bruins' NCAAhopes.

The win was the first for the Beavers against a conference opponent awayfrom Gill Coliseum this season. They were 8-1 at home and 0-9 on the road inleague games including losses at UCLA and last-place Southern California lastweek.

The Pac-10 tournament is being played at Staples Center, a neutral courtlocated about 15 miles from UCLA.

The fifth-seeded Beavers (17-13) will face No. 8 Arizona in Friday night'ssemifinals. The top-seeded Wildcats beat eighth-seeded California 88-63 in thetournament opener.

Freshman Sasa Cuic scored 12 points, David Lucas had 11 and Jason Fontenotadded 10 for Oregon State, which went ahead for good in the opening threeminutes.

Dijon Thompson led fourth-seeded UCLA (18-10) with 21 points. FreshmanJordan Farmar added 16 and Josh Shipp scored all 13 of his points and got 10 ofhis 11 rebounds in the second half.

The loss ended a season-high four-game winning streak for UCLA. Oregon Statehad entered the tournament having lost four of its previous six games. TheBeavers have clinched their first winning season in 15 years.

Oregon State shot 25-of-51 and 7-of-16 from 3-point range while the Bruinswent 25-of-67 and 7-of-27 from outside the arc. Thompson was 8-of-20 and Farmarwent 6-of-19.

Oregon State led 51-33 before Shipp scored his first eight points of thegame in less than two minutes to move UCLA within 10. He hadn't attempt a shotbefore that.

The Beavers extended their lead to 14 before Thompson made two 3-pointersduring a 10-0 run that made it 55-51 with 9{ minutes left.

But that was as close as the Bruins would get. DeWitz made a three-pointplay and Fontenot added a 3-point shot during an 8-1 run that gave Oregon Statea 65-54 lead with 6:17 to go. UCLA wasn't closer than six points after that.

Oregon State took a 10-point lead in the first six minutes, and the Beaversgot two 3-pointers by Cuic and one each by Fontenot and Stephens to help themextend their advantage to 36-15.

UCLA was 5-of-20 from the floor including 0-of-7 from 3-point range and hadeight turnovers at that stage.

Ryan Hollins ended a 10-0 Oregon State run by making two free throws, andThompson made a 3-pointer for UCLA's first field goal in over seven minutesbefore Oregon State went on a 9-3 run for a 22-point lead.

The Bruins then scored the last seven points of the first half to make it45-30.

Jim Harrick, who coached UCLA to its 11th and most recent NCAA championship10 years ago, attended the game. Harrick, fired from UCLA shortly before the1996-97 season for lying on an expense account, is now a scout for the DenverNuggets.