No. 13 Bruins Easily Handle Oregon State, 70-48

Feb 2, 2002

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Call UCLA soft, overrated, whatever. The Bruins have probably heard it all, and worse.

What impresses coach Steve Lavin is the way his team tends to jump back up after getting knocked down.

Jason Kapono scored 19 points and Dan Gadzuric added 18 as No. 13 UCLA shot 62 percent to defeat Oregon State 70-48 on Saturday night.

"They just happened to face us on a night we were razor-sharp coming off a really poor performance," Lavin said, referring to an embarrassing 29-point loss at Oregon on Thursday night. "What we got was a veteran team that was on a bounce-back."

After a forgettable first half, UCLA (15-6, 7-4 Pac-10) removed any intrigue from this matchup in the first four minutes of the second, making nine of its first 13 shots and boosting a seven-point lead to 15.

"We played heartless, gutless ball on Thursday," Kapono said. "We tended to pass the ball more and share it (tonight). On Thursday night, we shot the ball more quickly."

Oregon State (10-11, 3-8) had just one player in double figures, Philip Ricci with 11 points. To stop the bruising Ricci, UCLA used a zone defense on the Beavers, and they couldn't make the Bruins pay. Oregon State attempted a school-record 32 3-pointers, but made just seven.

"They dared us to shoot," Beavers coach Ritchie McKay said. "We lost confidence shooting the basketball, and we lost confidence defending, and the two combined equals UCLA by 22."

Billy Knight added 11 points for the Bruins, who have won six straight over Oregon State.

Gadzuric, Kapono and Matt Barnes - who had nine points - all fared much better against the smaller Beavers than the Ducks. Gadzuric, who was held to eight points against Oregon's 7-foot-2 center Chris Christoffersen, dominated the 6-7 Ricci, backing him down at will near the basket. Gadzuric shot 9-of-14, while Kapono was 8-for-12.

The Bruins' "big three" combined for just 14 points on 6-of-25 shooting against Oregon. In the first half alone Saturday, they shot 11-for-16 and scored 23 points.

The Bruins found they couldn't run with Oregon, so they tried a more patient approach, resembling the slowdown strategy of Oregon State. The result was a much more efficient offense with fewer mistakes.

"Our style is to lull people asleep, too," Knight said. "We tried the fast-paced game against Oregon, and it didn't work. We ran that shot clock down a lot more. It seemed like it worked, so I think we're going to keep that up."

After falling behind 44-29, Oregon State went on a brief spurt to get within 10, but Barnes made a 3-pointer and Kapono a baseline jumper to make it 51-36.

Kapono's 3-pointer with just over two minutes left pushed the lead to 66-46.

Following all but one of its losses, UCLA came back to win the next game, and usually by double-digits. The only exception came with consecutive defeats to Arizona and Stanford.

"We lost the game against Oregon, but we didn't lose the lesson, we watched video until 1 in the morning," Lavin said. "Now the goal is to sustain it, so night in, night out, we don't have the peaks and valleys."

UCLA went ahead 13-4 after a sloppy opening eight minutes, but Oregon State got 3-pointers from Adam Masten and Jimmie Haywood to draw within 19-17.

The Bruins held Oregon State to just one field goal in the last 6{ minutes of the half, however, to restore the lead. Gadzuric, who had 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the half, tipped in a miss just before time ran out to make it 31-22.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Saturday, Feb 27
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
L, 70 - 79
Wednesday, Mar 02
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
L, 68 - 76
Saturday, Mar 05
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
L, 82 - 86
Wednesday, Mar 09
vs. USC
Las Vegas, NV
L, 71 - 95