No. 13 UCLA Escapes with 61-59 Win at WSU
Jan. 22, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Nikola Dragovic scored a career-high 20 points as No. 13 UCLA hung on to beat Washington State 61-59 on Thursday for its 16th straight win in Pullman.
Dragovic made 6-of-10 3-pointers as UCLA (15-3, 5-1 Pac-10) rebounded from a loss to Arizona State.
Washington State (11-7, 3-3) had a chance to win at the buzzer, but Marcus Capers' long shot missed the rim.
It was UCLA's ninth straight win over the Cougars overall. The Bruins haven't lost in Pullman since 1993. UCLA leads the series 94-13.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Washington State, which fell to 0-4 against ranked opponents this year.
The Bruins led 53-42 late, when WSU scored 11 straight points. Caleb Forrest made a three-point play and then a 3-pointer to tie the score at 53 with 5:08 left. Forrest finished with 19 points.
Darren Collison made a pair of free throws for a 55-53 UCLA lead, but Aron Baynes replied with two to tie it again.
Collison sank two short baskets for a 59-55 UCLA lead with 2:39 left, and Baynes' layup cut the UCLA lead to two. Alfred Aboya made two free throws for a 61-57 UCLA lead.
Capers drove for a basket to cut UCLA's lead to 61-59 with less than a minute left.
Dragovic missed a long jumper and the Cougars rebounded with 13 seconds left. Forrest got trapped about 13 feet out and couldn't pass, so Washington State called a timeout with 4.6 seconds left to avoid a turnover.
Taylor Rochestie's first inbounds pass was batted out by Collison. Capers caught the second one far past the 3-point line, and his shot missed. UCLA got the rebound to end the game.
Dragovic, who is averaging 7.0 points and came in shooting 29 percent from 3-point range, opened the game with a 3-pointer and made 6-of-7 3-pointers in the first half.
UCLA led 17-15 with seven minutes left in the first. But Dragovic hit four long 3s over the next five minutes to power the Bruins to a 36-23 lead at halftime.
Dragovich's 18 first half points surpassed his career-high game of 15 set against Arizona on Jan. 15.