No. 15 UCLA Falls In Close Contest To Villanova, 58-57

Feb. 9, 2002

AP Sports Writer

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Brooks Sales made two free throws with 21 secondsremaining, and Billy Knight missed two desperation 3-pointers as Villanovaupset No. 15 UCLA 58-57 Saturday.

UCLA (16-7) had won two straight since a 29-point loss to Oregon, whileVillanova (13-8) had lost two in a row to ranked opponents.

Gary Buchanan's 3-pointer cut it to 57-56 with 1:15 left. Villanova's RickyWright then made a steal, and Sales was fouled on a driving layup. After Salesmade both free throws, Knight had two attempts to win it, but one shot hit therim and the other sailed over it.

Fans then stormed the court for Villanova's biggest victory in recent years.

Knight's buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Wednesday lifted UCLA to a 67-65victory over No. 25 Southern Cal.

Buchanan scored 20 points, including six 3-pointers, while Wright scored 10of his 12 points in the second half and Sales added 12.

Matt Barnes and Knight each had 17 points for UCLA.

The Bruins trailed throughout the second half until a bizarre six-pointpossession.

After hitting a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 47-42, Knight scored on adriving layup and got fouled. He missed the free throw, but Wright was calledfor an intentional foul, waving off the miss.

Knight then made the free throw, Barnes hit one of two free throws for theintentional foul and made two more free throws after he was fouled, completinga 9-0 run and giving UCLA a 48-47 lead with 6:47 left.

Barnes' putback snapped a 50-50 tie, and Knight's steal and layup made it54-50. But Reggie Bryant answered with a 3-pointer.

After Jason Kapono of UCLA made one of two free throws, Knight made acrucial putback, giving the Bruins a 57-53 lead with 1:40 left.

Jay Wright, in his first year as Villanova's coach lost to UCLA in the firstround of the NCAA tournament last year when he was at Hofstra.

It was the third meeting between the schools, and Villanova's first victory.UCLA beat the Wildcats in the 1971 NCAA championship game and again lastseason.

Villanova opened the second half on a 10-3 run, taking its biggest lead tothat point, 41-33, on a jumper by Wright, who had eight points during thespurt.

Buchanan had 14 points in the first half, including four 3-pointers. But hedidn't score again until hitting a 3-pointer with 3:18 left.

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