UCLA Captures Another PAC-10 Win

Jan. 6, 2001

LOS ANGELES - UCLA shot 72 percent in the first half and built adouble-digit lead it never lost, yet the Bruins could only lament their lack ofkiller instinct against Washington State.

'We were a little hesitant. We still haven't found our edge,' said EarlWatson, who led four players in double figures with 16 points as UCLA beat theCougars 75-57 Saturday.

The Bruins (7-4, 2-0 Pac-10) completed the first weekend of conference playwith a sweep of the Washington schools, and have won five of their last six.

That's the only good news according to coach Steve Lavin.

'We've made some progress in certain areas, but the disappointing part ofthe equation is we haven't sustained our effort and execution,' he said. 'Asa result, we're not hitting on all cylinders and there's clearly too manydeficiencies to win in this conference, so we have lots of work to do.'

As gloomy as Lavin appeared, the Bruins were more than good enough to extendWashington State's winless streak at Pauley Pavilion to 44 games.

The Cougars (6-5, 0-2) have never won at Pauley since the building openedduring the 1965-66 season, and haven't beaten UCLA in Los Angeles since theseries began in 1936-37.

'We won by 20, but we could have really put it on this team,' said MattBarnes, who added 13 points. 'We didn't have any killer instinct. We've got tosustain and get that killer instinct and take the lead from 20 to 40.'

The Bruins' bench outscored Washington State's reserves 34-17. They were ledby Billy Knight with 14 points in 15 minutes and freshman T.J. Cummings with11.

Washington State's Mike Bush had 16 points, his third consecutivedouble-figure effort in as many games since returning from academicineligibility.

'I am frustrated and tired. You can't win against teams like this with theinexperience on our team,' Bush said. 'I thought I had good looks at thebasket and they didn't get the ball to me enough so I could get a rhythm.'

Washington State played No. 20 Southern California close for a half beforelosing 82-59 Thursday night, but the Cougars seemed stunned when UCLA openedthe game with a full-court press.

They were forced to call a timeout on their opening possession because ofthe pressure.

'Inexperience is what killed us. We need a lot of work,' Cougarssecond-year coach Paul Graham said. 'When you take a young team on the roadfor the first time, it takes a lot out of them.'

The Cougars regrouped briefly to lead by five points, but UCLA's pressuredefense, combined with 72 percent shooting, helped the Bruins to a 42-24halftime lead.

'They have great team speed and it broke our young players down because wetook poor shots,' Washington State's Cedric Clark said.

UCLA built the double-digit advantage with a 38-15 run after trailing byfive. Making just his fourth start of the season, Knight hit three 3-pointersin the spurt that saw the Bruins reel off runs of 10 and nine consecutivepoints.

'That pressure really energizes everyone,' Barnes said.

Washington State started the second half by outscoring UCLA 18-11, but theCougars only got within 11.

UCLA answered with nine straight points, including five by Cummings, to goup 62-42 with 7:18 remaining. The Cougars never got within single digits in thesecond half.

AP Sports Writer

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