UCLA Falls To No. 15 North Carolina

Dec. 23, 2000

LOS ANGELES - Joseph Forte scored 29 points and No. 15 North Carolinasurvived a furious UCLA rally in the second half to beat the Bruins 80-70Saturday.

The Tar Heels (7-2) won their fourth straight despite blowing an 18-pointlead when the Bruins (4-4) roared back to lead by two points three times.

But the comeback took its toll with 5:55 remaining and UCLA ahead 62-60. TheHeels ran off 16 straight points as the Bruins reverted to their first-halfform with missed shots and turnovers and Carolina closed the game with an 18-8run.

UCLA's Earl Watson scored a career-high 30 points and Matt Barnes added 18points and 10 rebounds.

Jason Capel had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Brendan Haywood added 13rebounds as Carolina controlled the boards, 47-36.

Trailing by 18 points early in the second half, the Bruins used a 22-7 runto get within one with 9:55 remaining. Watson and Barnes took over the offense,with Watson hitting two 3-pointers and Barnes scoring over the 7-foot Haywoodand keying a steal and basket as the crowd of 10,593 went wild.

Watson and Barnes kept it up, hitting free throws and scoring off offensiverebounds until UCLA led 62-60 on a basket by Watson with 5:55 left.

The Heels made just three baskets during UCLA's rally, when startersHaywood, Ronald Curry and Kris Lang each played with at least three fouls. Theyovercame 22 turnovers in the game, including eight by Curry.

But the Heels found steady shooters in Capel and Forte. Capel made all sevenof his free throws and Forte was 6-of-7 over the final 10 minutes.

Carolina scored the game's first 11 points and its defense kept the Bruinsfrom getting few open looks in the opening six minutes. The Heels led by 19 inthe first half, when UCLA shot 30 percent and was 2-of-11 from 3-point range.

The Bruins managed just 33 percent shooting for the game, the fourthstraight opponent that has failed to top 33 percent against Carolina.

AP Sports Writer

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