UCLA Downs Cal, 85-75
Feb. 23, 2007
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Josh Shipp scored 22 points and Lorenzo Mata added 14 to lead a second-half comeback in UCLA's 85-75 victory over California on Thursday night that extended the fourth-ranked Bruins' home winning streak to 19 games.
UCLA (24-3, 13-2 Pac-10) completed a season sweep of the Golden Bears (14-13, 6-9), who had won their two previous games at Pauley Pavilion and dominated the first half.
Freshman Ryan Anderson led the Bears with 21 points and Omar Wilkes was among three players with 10 each.
Cal led nearly the entire first half, opening with a 14-4 run for its largest lead. The Bears shot 72 percent from the field during that stretch.
The Bruins got back into the game on a 19-9 run, capped by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's four straight points that gave UCLA its first lead of the game. The teams traded baskets before the halftime buzzer, when UCLA led 35-34.
Arron Afflalo added 13 points for the Bruins to extend his double-figure scoring streak to 26 games, tops in the Pac-10. But he finished under his team-leading 17.5-point average on a night when Mata emerged as a clutch free-throw shooter.
Typically, the sight of Mata stepping to the line induces cringes among UCLA fans. He came into the game averaging 30 percent, worst on the team.
But Mata turned in an 8-of-9 career-best performance, while his 14 points were a career high. His streak of consecutive free throws ended at nine early in the second half when he missed the back end after being intentionally fouled by Wilkes.
He steadied himself and completed a three-point play near the end of a 14-6 spurt that opened the second half, drawing huge cheers from the crowd.
Leading 49-43, UCLA outscored the Bears 25-5, including nine by Shipp, for a 74-48 lead with 7 1/2 minutes remaining.
The Bears reeled off four consecutive 3-pointers, which barely dented their 19-point deficit, but they finished with eight and have 202 on the season, breaking the school record of 198 set in 2002-03.
Fans began filing out with nearly four minutes remaining, and UCLA went to its bench before re-inserting starters Afflalo and Darren Collison with 1 1/2 minutes to go and UCLA ahead by 14.