No. 13 Bruins Blow By Oregon State, 70-48

Feb. 2, 2002

AP Sports Writer

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Call UCLA soft, overrated, whatever. The Bruins haveprobably heard it all, and worse.

What impresses coach Steve Lavin is the way his team tends to jump back upafter getting knocked down.

Jason Kapono scored 19 points and Dan Gadzuric added 18 as No. 13 UCLA shot62 percent to defeat Oregon State 70-48 on Saturday night.

'They just happened to face us on a night we were razor-sharp coming off areally poor performance,' Lavin said, referring to an embarrassing 29-pointloss at Oregon on Thursday night. 'What we got was a veteran team that was ona bounce-back.'

After a forgettable first half, UCLA (15-6, 7-4 Pac-10) removed any intriguefrom this matchup in the first four minutes of the second, making nine of itsfirst 13 shots and boosting a seven-point lead to 15.

'We played heartless, gutless ball on Thursday,' Kapono said. 'We tendedto pass the ball more and share it (tonight). On Thursday night, we shot theball more quickly.'

Oregon State (10-11, 3-8) had just one player in double figures, PhilipRicci with 11 points. To stop the bruising Ricci, UCLA used a zone defense onthe Beavers, and they couldn't make the Bruins pay. Oregon State attempted aschool-record 32 3-pointers, but made just seven.

'They dared us to shoot,' Beavers coach Ritchie McKay said. 'We lostconfidence shooting the basketball, and we lost confidence defending, and thetwo combined equals UCLA by 22.'

Billy Knight added 11 points for the Bruins, who have won six straight overOregon State.

Gadzuric, Kapono and Matt Barnes - who had nine points - all fared muchbetter against the smaller Beavers than the Ducks. Gadzuric, who was held toeight points against Oregon's 7-foot-2 center Chris Christoffersen, dominatedthe 6-7 Ricci, backing him down at will near the basket. Gadzuric shot 9-of-14,while Kapono was 8-for-12.

The Bruins' 'big three' combined for just 14 points on 6-of-25 shootingagainst Oregon. In the first half alone Saturday, they shot 11-for-16 andscored 23 points.

The Bruins found they couldn't run with Oregon, so they tried a more patientapproach, resembling the slowdown strategy of Oregon State. The result was amuch more efficient offense with fewer mistakes.

'Our style is to lull people asleep, too,' Knight said. 'We tried thefast-paced game against Oregon, and it didn't work. We ran that shot clock downa lot more. It seemed like it worked, so I think we're going to keep that up.'

After falling behind 44-29, Oregon State went on a brief spurt to get within10, but Barnes made a 3-pointer and Kapono a baseline jumper to make it 51-36.

Kapono's 3-pointer with just over two minutes left pushed the lead to 66-46.

Following all but one of its losses, UCLA came back to win the next game,and usually by double-digits. The only exception came with consecutive defeatsto Arizona and Stanford.

'We lost the game against Oregon, but we didn't lose the lesson, we watchedvideo until 1 in the morning,' Lavin said. 'Now the goal is to sustain it, sonight in, night out, we don't have the peaks and valleys.'

UCLA went ahead 13-4 after a sloppy opening eight minutes, but Oregon Stategot 3-pointers from Adam Masten and Jimmie Haywood to draw within 19-17.

The Bruins held Oregon State to just one field goal in the last 6{ minutesof the half, however, to restore the lead. Gadzuric, who had 12 points on6-of-8 shooting in the half, tipped in a miss just before time ran out to makeit 31-22.

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