Jan. 6, 2005
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dijon Thompson converted Brian Morrison's steal into a go-ahead breakaway layup late in the second overtime, and UCLA beat Washington State 80-77 on Thursday after erasing a 17-point second-half deficit.
The Bruins, playing their first Pac-10 home game of the season, shot 8-for-25 in the first half and trailed 36-21 at halftime. For a while, they seemed in danger of eclipsing the record low of 41 points, set on March 14, 1996, in a two-point loss to Princeton in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Freshman point guard Jordan Farmar scored 17 of his 19 points after halftime for UCLA (8-3, 2-1) and Morrison had 15.
Thomas Kelati had 18 points and Jeff Varem added 17 for the Cougars (6-6, 1-2), who nearly pulled off their second straight win at Pauley Pavilion.
Last February, the Cougars won 55-48 at Pauley despite shooting 36 percent from the field and nearly blowing a 14-point second-half lead. That win was Washington State's first ever in 39 visits, ending a 22-game losing streak to the Bruins and a string of 46 consecutive defeats against them at Los Angeles.
UCLA was held to a season-low 48 points in both meetings with Washington State last season, winning the game at Pullman by three points. The Bruins haven't scored fewer than 48 since Dec. 11, 1999, when Gonzaga beat them 59-43.
UCLA turned it around in the second half and forced overtime with a closing 23-9 run. Farmar hit a 3-pointer that gave the Bruins a 69-64 lead with 1:19 left in the first overtime. But Kelati beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer after Ryan Hollins missed both free throws at the other end with 6.1 seconds left.
Washington State did not make a field goal after Thompson's go-ahead basket after the turnover by Kelati in the second overtime, and he clinched the victory with three free throws in the final 25 seconds.
Cougars starting forward Shami Gill missed his second straight game because of a back injury and did not accompany the team to Los Angeles.
UCLA senior guard Janou Rubin is scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday to repair an injured left knee and is expected to miss the rest of the season.