UCLA Hosts USC In Key Pac-10 Game On January 8
Jan. 7, 2003
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 8 - UCLA (4-5, 2-0, tied for first in Pac-10) vs. USC (5-4, 1-1), 7:30 P.M. PT, Pauley Pavilion. (TV - Fox Sports Net West; Radio - XTRA Sports 690/1150, with Chris Roberts/Don MacLean).
SATURDAY, JAN. 11 - UCLA vs. ST. JOHN'S (7-3, 1-0, at Providence, Jan. 8), Noon PT, Pauley Pavilion. (TV - FSN/FSNW; Radio - XTRA Sports 690/1150, with Chris Roberts/Don MacLean).
Head Coach Steve Lavin - In his seventh season as Bruin head coach with a school and career mark of 139-64 (203 games, 68.5) and 12th year on the UCLA staff (359 games, 265-96, 73.4). The Kansas contest was Lavin's 200th game as the Bruin head coach. The 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Lavin and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski are the only current coaches who have guided their teams to five NCAA 'Sweet 16s' in the last six seasons. Lavin entered 2002-03 as the 15th winningest active coach (minimum five years as a Div. I head coach/based on percentage-69.6, 135-59 entering this season). In his Bruin head coaching career, Lavin is 10-2 vs. USC, including a 6-0 mark at Pauley Pavilion. He has never faced St. John's.
UCLA's Last Games - In two games in the state of Washington, UCLA's defense held Washington and Washington State shooters to 35.6 (48-135) from the field and 30.2 (13-43) from three-
point range. The Bruins also outrebounded both opponents by an 82-64 margin. Offensively, the Bruins shot 56.7 (68-120) from the floor, 55.6 (15-27) from three-point range and 92.3 (24-26) from the free throw line. For the second year in a row, the Bruins started the Pac-10 season at 2-0 with a sweep at the Washington schools.
UCLA 98, at Washington State 83 - UCLA improved to 2-0 in Pac-10 play with its 20th consecutive victory over the Cougars. Jason Kapono enjoyed one of the best games in school history. He scored a career-high 44 points, the highest total ever by a Bruin forward and tied for the fifth-highest scoring total in school history with Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Bill Walton (only Alcindor has scored more points as a Bruin - four times). Kapono made a school-record nine three-point field goals on 10 attempts and hit 14 of 19 shots from the floor and all seven free throws. He also tied his career high with six assists and tied for the team lead with five rebounds. Kapono had 25 points in the first half and 19 in the final 20 minutes. Late in the first half, he scored 13 straight points and 15 of UCLA's last 19 points of the half, expanding a five-point lead (34-29) to 16 (53-37) at intermission. He surpassed his old career high of 28 just 1:23 into the second half when he nailed a three-point field goal and was fouled for a four-point play. With 5:50 remaining in the game and UCLA leading by 10 (77-67), he got hot again, making three three-pointers in 2:28 to give UCLA a 20-point lead (88-68) with 3:22 left. Kapono was one of five Bruins in double figures. T.J. Cummings added 16 points, making eight of 11 shots, Ray Young scored 12 points off the bench and also took two charges on defense, Andre Patterson had 10 points (5-7 shooting) and five rebounds and Ryan Walcott tied his career high with 10 points (4-5, 2-3, 0-0) and added three assists. Cedric Bozeman tied his career high with eight assists and grabbed five rebounds and Dijon Thompson added six points off the bench. UCLA shot a season-high 63.5 (40-63) from the field (68.0 (17-25) in the second half), a season-high 64.7 (11-17) from three-point range (75.0 (6-8) in the second half) and 87.5 (7-8) from the foul line, with a game-high 38 rebounds, a season-high 24 assists and just 13 turnovers. Washington State shot 37.5 (27-72) from the field, 35.5 (11-31) from three-point range and 72.0 (18-25) from the foul line, with 34 rebounds and an opponent season-low seven turnovers. The Cougars were led by Marcus Moore, who had 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
UCLA 77, at Washington 67 - UCLA opened the Pac-10 season with a victory, opening big leads in each half and earning the win despite a season-high 29 turnovers. The Bruins broke a 14-14 tie by outscoring the Huskies 20-3 to build a 34-17 lead with 4:59 remaining and still led by eight points (37-29) at halftime. Washington tied the game at 41-41 and trailed by just two (47-45) with 13:36 remaining. An 18-3 Bruin run gave UCLA a 17-point lead (65-48) with 7:48 remaining. Washington closed to within six points (69-63) with 3:07 left but could not get any closer. T.J. Cummings led the Bruins with 16 points (5-12, 6-6) and added nine rebounds. Jason Kapono added 15 points (6-12, 3-5, 0-0) and a game-high five assists and Dijon Thompson came off the bench after missing the previous game with a sore knee and contributed 14 points (5-7, 1-2, 3-4), four rebounds and three assists. Andre Patterson recorded the first double-double of his career with 12 points (4-7, 4-4), tying his career-high, and a career-high and game-high 12 rebounds. He also had five blocked shots. UCLA shot 49.1 (28-57) from the field (57.7 (15-26) in the second half), 40.0 (4-10) from three-point range and a season-best 94.4 (17-18) from the foul line, with a game-high 44 rebounds, 16 assists and a season-high 29 turnovers. Washington shot 33.3 (21-63) from the field, 16.7 (2-12) from three-point range and 67.6 (23-34) from the foul line, with 30 rebounds, six assists and 17 turnovers. The Huskies were led by Curtis Allen (17 points) and Doug Wrenn (14 points).
UCLA-USC SERIES - UCLA leads it 119-94. The two schools split the series last year, with USC winning 81-77 at the Forum and UCLA winning 67-65 at Pauley Pavilion on Billy Knight's game-winning three-point field goal. UCLA has won 14 of the last 16 meetings and is 10-2 under head coach Steve Lavin. USC's last win at Pauley was Feb. 25, 1993 (72-62).
Head Coach Henry Bibby -A Bruin All-America guard for three NCAA championship teams that compiled a record of 87-3, Bibby is in his seventh full season as USC head coach (he also coached the final nine games of the 1996 season as interim head coach).
The Trojans - The Trojans split two games in the Northwest last week, defeating Washington State 97-90, behind Desmon Farmer's 35 points, but losing at Washington 76-72, after building a 22-3 lead.
LEXUS GAUNTLET - This year is the second year that UCLA and USC are competing for the Lexus Gauntlet, which will be awarded on an annual basis to the school that does the best in head-to-head competition. In each sport, points will be awarded to the winner of each contest and the school with the most points at the end of the year will receive the Lexus Gauntlet. The Southern California Lexus Dealer Association is the title sponsor of every UCLA-USC athletic event. USC won the Gauntlet last year in the final competition of 2001-2002 (baseball).USC currently leads the competition, 20-15. The Bruins have earned five points each for women's soccer, women's cross country and men's water polo while the Trojans own 10 points each for women's volleyball and football. Each men's basketball game is worth five points.The UCLA and USC women will also play this week. That game is scheduled for Sunday with tipoff at noon. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
JASON KAPONO-PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (JAN 6)
For his efforts at the Washington schools, UCLA 6-8 senior Jason Kapono on Monday was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week. He averaged 29.5 points, 5.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Kapono scored 15 points with five assists, two rebounds and one steal in UCLA's 77-67 win at Washington. He capped off the week with one of the Pac-10 most impressive performances as he scored 44 points in the Bruins' 98-83 win at Washington State. The point total tied for fifth-best single game total in UCLA history (Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) has the top four efforts). Kapono shot 14-19 (73.7) from the field, including a school record 9-10 (90.0) from three-point range, and was a perfect 7-7 from the line. He also dished out a career-best six assists.
The Bruins in the preseason were No. 14 (AP) and No. 12 (USA Today/ESPN). In week one, UCLA was 15th in AP; and in week two, the Bruins were No. 14 (AP/USA Today/ESPN; that was UCLA's last ranking).
UCLA PICKED THIRD IN CONFERENCE POLL
In a poll of media members released Nov. 6 at Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Day in Los Angeles, the Bruins were picked to finish third (195 votes) in the 2003 Pac-10 Conference race, behind unanimous No. 1 choice Arizona (27 first place votes/270 votes) and second-place Oregon (237). Behind Arizona, Oregon and UCLA were - fourth-place Arizona State (160), fifth-place California (154), sixth-place USC (152); seventh-place Stanford (136); eighth-place Washington (81); ninth-place Oregon State (71) and 10th-place Washington State (29).