Jan. 6, 2000
SEATTLE (AP) - No. 24 UCLA will go for its fourth straight win Thursday when it heads to Washington to open Pac-10 play.
Although the Bruins (8-2) have taken 22 of the last 26 games against the Huskies, Washington (5-7) has won two of the last three. UCLA took a 79-62 decision on Feb. 28 in the teams' last meeting.
The Bruins come off a thrilling 55-53 victory over Purdue last Thursday in a game that saw freshman Jason Kapono make the game-winner with 1.1 seconds remaining.
"I just got free, threw my little runner and it went in. I'm pretty confident in myself. I would take my game anytime against anybody," said Kapono, who led the team with 19 points.
Kapono has been thrust into the starting lineup in place of JaRon Rush, who has been suspended indefinitely by the NCAA for league violations.
UCLA committed 20 turnovers and had four starters in foul trouble most of the second half, but Washington coach Bob Bender said the club's depth may be its biggest weapon.
"They're very talented. With JaRon Rush out of it, that puts Kapono in a position as a freshman to play more and have to be productive and he's responded," Bender said.
"When they have to make a change for an injury, many times at UCLA they're replacing them with another All-American."
The Huskies come off a 78-52 trouncing by New Mexico on Thursday. Added to the team's growing injured list was guard Deon Luton, who was taken out of the game early in the second half after straining his back.
Washington lost talented forward Grant Leep in the prior game at New Mexico State with a knee injury, while guard Senque Carey (chest pains) and forward Greg Clark (shoulder) were also hurt on the trip.
Carey and Clark are expected to play Thursday.