Top Four Seeds Advance To Pac-10 Semifinals

March 8, 2002

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Down and nearly out, UCLA fought back with fury. For thesecond consecutive week, it wasn't enough.

The Bruins lost 67-61 to No. 25 California on Thursday night in the firstround of the Pacific-10 Conference tournament.

They erased a 10-point deficit with 2:06 remaining, only to see the GoldenBears (22-7) outscore them 8-2 in the final 1:39 to close out the victory.

In other Pac-10 games, it was No. 9 Oregon 86, Washington 64, No. 22Southern Cal 103, No. 16 Stanford 78, and No. 15 Arizona 73, Arizona St. 56.

In Friday night's semifinals at Staples Center, Oregon will play USC, andArizona takes on California.

Cal gets a rematch with the Wildcats, who swept them in the regular season,including a stunning 46-point defeat last Saturday.

'Both times, we didn't really show up,' Cal's Ryan Forehan-Kelly said.'We'll come and show effort and show them what team we really are.'

The Bears regained control against UCLA with 1:39 remaining. Forehan-Kelly,who tied his career high with 20 points, came off a screen set by Amit Tamir,who then slipped low to score the go-ahead basket.

'That was a huge play,' Cal coach Ben Braun said. 'Big game for us.'

Jason Kapono, Billy Knight and Matt Barnes - three of UCLA's best shooters -all missed down the stretch.

'UCLA erased 10 points about as fast as a team can,' Braun said. 'Wedidn't get down. Our players dug in at the end when we needed to get a stop.'

The Bruins committed 19 turnovers, including six by freshmen Cedric Bozemanand five by Ryan Walcott - not surprising because they averaged 18.5 miscues insplitting two games with Cal this season.

'We were pretty careless starting out,' said Jason Kapono, who had 10points. 'We wanted to have a good showing. Maybe we were a little tense andmaybe those turnovers were caused by that.'

Joe Shipp added 18 points for the Bears, who got six of their nine3-pointers from Forehan-Kelly.

Barnes led UCLA with 15 points and Walcott added 10.

The sixth-seeded Bruins (19-11) are left to await a possible NCAA tournamentbid, where they'll try to win a 20th game for the 14th consecutive season.

UCLA will take a two-game losing skid into any future postseason games. LastSaturday, the Bruins lost to No. 13 Oregon 65-62 on a basket by Frederick Joneswith 13 seconds left.

'If we would've won two or three games here, we could've had a muchstronger resume with the NCAA tournament committee,' UCLA coach Steve Lavinsaid.

No. 9 Oregon 86, Washington 64

Luke Jackson scored 16 of his 27 points after halftime as Oregon overcame a13-point first-half deficit.

The win was Oregon's sixth straight and gave the Ducks (23-7) their mostvictories in a season since 1945, when they won 30 games.

Washington (11-18) was seeded eighth, but split its regular-season gameswith Oregon, winning 97-92 in Seattle and losing 90-84 in Eugene, where theDucks went 16-0 to tie a 64-year-old school record.

'We all read what they had said in the papers and believed that we had alot more to show this team,' Jackson said of the Huskies. 'We really didn'tplay our best game before.'

Washington took a 31-18 lead in the opening 14{ minutes. But the Ducksclosed within seven points at halftime and outscored the Huskies 51-22 in thesecond half.

Doug Wrenn led the Huskies with 14 points, but scored only two aftersparking his team to its 13-point lead.

'You have to be good for 40 minutes. We played really well the first 20,'Washington coach Bob Bender said.

No. 15 Arizona 73, Arizona St. 56

Luke Walton scored eight of his 25 points during an early 12-0 run that putthe Wildcats (20-9) ahead for good.

'We're happy that we got through this one,' Arizona coach Lute Olson said.'Arizona State had a difficult time hitting the perimeter shot. We did a goodjob of keeping the ball out of the middle, where they're dangerous.'

Jason Braxton scored 12 points for ASU (14-14), which made only 34.8 percentof its shots and was 2-of-12 on free throws.

'I'm extremely sick to my stomach right now,' ASU coach Rob Evans said.'For the first time in a long time, I feel like our team didn't compete.'

No. 22 USC 103, No. 16 Stanford 78

The Trojans dominated the Cardinal, beating them for the third time in asmany games this season.

'It's probably one of the best offensive games we've played all year,' USCcoach Henry Bibby said. 'We were making shots and everything was workingoffensively for us.'

The Trojans (21-8) built a 23-point lead in the first half, and Stanford(19-9) wasn't closer than 13 points in the second half.

'We had no answers for SC. They were the aggressor, physical, quick,'Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. 'They're the better team and I don'tthink there's any question about that.'

Sam Clancy led five USC players in double figures with 25 points. BrandonGranville added 20 points and 11 assists, reserve Desmon Farmer scored 19,David Bluthenthal 17 and reserve Jerry Dupree 10.

Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt each scored 17 points to lead theCardinal.

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