No. 2 Bruins Drop Road Contest at West Virginia, 70-65
Feb. 10, 2007
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Alex Ruoff scored 18 points and West Virginia withstood two rallies by No. 2 UCLA in the second half to beat the Bruins 70-65 on Saturday.
For the second straight season, UCLA (21-3, 10-2 Pac-10) couldn't recover from a double-digit deficit against the Mountaineers. All three UCLA losses have come on the road this season. This was the first to a non-conference opponent.
Arron Afflalo had 27 points and nine rebounds for UCLA, which was without Darren Collison, the team's third-leading scorer who hurt his left shoulder in a 5-point win over USC on Wednesday night.
Frank Young added 14 points and freshman Da'Sean Butler had 13 for West Virginia (19-5, 7-4 Big East).
Hundreds of gold-and-blue clad fans stormed the court and the loudspeakers blared John Denver's 'Country Roads' after the final buzzer.
UCLA made the cross-country trip to Morgantown for the first time and found out that West Virginia - with its rifle-toting mascot and antagonistic student section - is a tough place to play. The Mountaineers have lost just twice to non-conference opponents at home under fifth-year coach John Beilein.
UCLA didn't score a basket over a 9:16 stretch spanning both halves and even got burned by West Virginia's bench.
Seldom-used guard Ted Talkington, playing because of injuries to fellow backups Devan Bawinkel and Joe Mazzulla, hit a 3-pointer and another jumper 1:32 apart for West Virginia's biggest lead, 47-28, with 14:17 left in the game.
Things fell apart quickly for the Mountaineers, who went scoreless for more than five minutes while UCLA hunted down offensive rebounds and forced fouls in its first comeback.
Michael Roll's 3-pointer capped a 15-0 run that pulled the Bruins within 47-43 with 9:19 left.
Ruoff hit a 3-pointer and a three-point play to put West Virginia ahead by 10 before Afflalo, 1-of-9 from the floor a year ago against the Mountaineers, scored eight straight points for UCLA and Shipp followed with four straight to bring the Bruins within 63-59 with 1:45 left.
That's as close as the Bruins got. West Virginia sank 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute.
West Virginia was held to a season-low 47 points in a double-digit loss Wednesday to No. 7 Pittsburgh - UCLA coach Ben Howland's former team. It marked the first time that the Mountaineers had hosted two top 10 opponents in the same week.
Just like three days earlier, West Virginia got off to a slow start but recovered this time. In the first half the Mountaineers often had all five players outside the arc to set up either a 3-point shot or one-on-one matchups, and it worked.
Butler sparked a 10-2 run with a 3-pointer and a lay-in midway through the first half, and West Virginia scored the final eight points of the half, capped by Butler's 3-point play, for a 32-22 lead. It was the fewest points UCLA had scored in the first half this season.
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