Hot Shooting Leads Bruins Past Cougars

Jan. 6, 2001

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- UCLA shot 55 percent, including a red hot 73 percent in the first half, as the Bruins defeated Washington State 75-57 at Pauley Pavilion, Saturday.

The win improved UCLA (7-4, 2-0) to 44-0 all-time in Los Angeles against the Cougars (6-5, 0-2), including 36-0 at Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA was led by 16 points from Earl Watson and 14 points from Billy Knight off the bench. The Cougars did hold the Bruins leading scorer Jason Kapono to six points. Kapono entered the game averaging 18.3 points per outing.

WSU started well, leading 11-7 at the 13:53 mark of the first half behind seven points from junior Mike Bush (Reseda, Calif.). Bush finished with 16 points and is averaging 18.7 points in his first three games this season since returning from academic ineligibility.

Over the next 8:13, UCLA went on a 21-4 run to take control of the game at 28-17 with 5:40 to play in the first half. Knight led the spurt with eight points, including a pair of three-pointers.

Knight scored 11 of his points in the first half as the Bruins led 42-24 at intermission.

The Cougars tried to make a game of it in the second half, scoring the first five points after halftime. A dunk by junior J Locklier (Rock Hill, S.C.) brought WSU to within 45-33 at the 15:18 mark. Locklier finished the game with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.

A three-point play by senior Eddie Miller (Reseda, Calif.) with 9:08 left closed the deficit to 53-42. However, UCLA went on a 9-0 run over the next 1:50 to put the game out of reach. The Bruins held WSU to five field goals in the final 9:08.

'We got down early, which we tried to avoid,' WSU head coach Paul Graham said. 'Then we played them even in the second half. This was another new experience for a young basketball team, playing two road games against top notch opponents in a short time span.'

The Cougars struggled throughout the afternoon from beyond the arc, connecting on just 2-of-17 three-point attempts.

'We got open looks,' Graham said. 'We told our guys you have to make open shots at this level to win and we didn't do that.'

The loss was the second straight for the Cougars, the first time that has occurred this season. WSU will host nationally ranked Arizona Thursday at the Spokane Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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