Men's Basketball Survives Scare From Gauchos

Nov. 29, 2000

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Earl Watson and Matt Barnes, who both failed to score inthe first half, keyed a critical 11-4 run late in the game as UCLA held off UCSanta Barbara 83-77 Wednesday night.

The Bruins (2-2) narrowly avoided being upset for the second straight weekafter falling out of the Top 25 following a stunning 78-74 loss to Cal StateNorthridge at Pauley Pavilion last week.

Mark Hull scored a career-high 23 points for the Gauchos (0-4), who hit 123-pointers and remained winless against UCLA in 18 meetings.

Jason Kapono led UCLA with 24 points, while Dan Gadzuric scored 17 of his 21points in the first half before fouling out with 2:13 remaining.

Trailing 64-63, UCLA scored nine of the next 11 points to go up 72-66 with5:47 remaining. T.J. Cummings scored, Watson hit a 3-pointer and followed withtwo free throws. The Bruins converted a critical second-chance basket whenCummings rebounded a miss by Ray Young and Watson fed Barnes for a slam dunkthat ended the spurt.

Barnes had eight points 10 rebounds as the Bruins dominated the boards 40-28but shot 43.8 percent.

The Bruins stumbled during the next couple of minutes with missed shots, ashot-clock violation and a lost possession on a held ball, but Santa Barbaramanaged just two of four free throws in that span and never threatened again.

Neither team led by more than four points for much of the second half, andtwice the Gauchos had the Bruins down by that margin.

UCLA recovered by scoring seven consecutive points in typically flashystyle, capped by a three-point play from Young. He tossed up a one-hander withhis back to the basket as he was falling out of bounds after being fouled byJacoby Atako.

Young made the free throw to give UCLA a 63-60 lead that promptlydisappeared when LaRon Bryant answered with Santa Barbara's 10th 3-pointer totie the game.

The Gauchos went from trailing by 11 points to leading by three at halftimewhen they outscored UCLA 32-17 over the final 12:18. They hit all six of theirfirst-half 3-pointers in that stretch, including three straight by Hull.

The Bruins got only two free throws over the final three minutes of thehalf, which ended when Watson, who finished with eight points, sent a passbackward through his legs to Kapono, who missed a 3-pointer and slapped thefloor in frustration.

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