Jan 11, 2003
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - St. John's found a valuable reward at the end of its 3,000-mile trip from the East Coast.
Marcus Hatten scored 23 points and the Red Storm easily dismissed UCLA's lone run in the second half to beat the Bruins 80-65 Saturday.
"When you win at the most famous college arena in the world, it's well worth it," St. John's coach Mike Jarvis said. "Even though UCLA is not having a great year, this is a huge win for our program. We held up to the pressure of playing UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on national television and we'll have a nice trip home."
The Red Storm (8-4) won their fifth straight over UCLA in the teams' first meeting since 1987, when they also won at Pauley, 72-64.
"UCLA is still a magic name," Hatten said. "When I got here, I looked at the rafters in amazement. I was trying to count all the national championships and I couldn't believe it."
Anthony Glover added 22 points for St. John's, which led by 12 at halftime and allowed UCLA to get no closer than six points in the second half.
"Glover did a good job. He played hard and aggressive. He's a 6-foot-5 warrior," Jarvis said. "We are not that big, but we play big."
"We're in a tough stretch. It can shake your confidence. The reality is we just have to do a better job. You have to make your own breaks because they're not going to give it to us."
-- Steve Lavin
UCLA (4-7) lost its second straight.
"It's challenging when you know the crowd is a little upset," said Jason Kapono, who led UCLA with 22 points. "Anytime you lose on your home court back-to-back, it's not a good sign. This is definitely the low point in our season."
The Bruins were beaten 80-75 by crosstown rival Southern California on Wednesday, when Kapono was held to 10 points.
UCLA made just nine of 27 shots in the first half and their 23 points were a season low.
"We just didn't make shots," said Andre Patterson, who had six points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. "It was like a slow, ugly game. We couldn't do anything about it."
Kyle Cuffe added 11 points and 12 rebounds for St. John's, which had lost four of its last six games. Despite Cuffe being the only starter standing 6-foot-7, the Red Storm controlled the boards 43-34 and outhustled the Bruins to loose balls.
"UCLA tried to come out and run with us," Glover said. "They tried to do what we do and they got tired. They can't keep up with us."
The Bruins' strongest sustained play of the second half came in a 15-4 run that left them trailing 44-38 with 12:54 remaining. Kapono hit his first 3-pointer of the game and scored off his own steal and T.J. Cummings added four points.
Cummings had 17 for UCLA, which shot 52 percent in the second half.
But the Red Storm responded with 10 straight points as part of a 13-2 run for their largest lead of the game, 57-40 with 8:42 remaining. Glover got things started by scoring inside, then dunked off a steal and later scored five straight points.
"We're in a tough stretch," said Lavin. "It can shake your confidence. The reality is we just have to do a better job. You have to make your own breaks because they're not going to give it to us."
Kapono and Cummings were responsible for getting UCLA within nine points three times in the final five minutes.