Bruins Fall To Beavers In Pac-10 Tournament, 79-72

Box Score

March 10, 2005

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Chris Stephens scored 17 points, Nick DeWitz had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Oregon State surprised UCLA 79-72 in a first-round game of the Pac-10 tournament to perhaps damage the Bruins' NCAA hopes.

The win was the first for the Beavers against a conference opponent away from Gill Coliseum this season. They were 8-1 at home and 0-9 on the road in league games including losses at UCLA and last-place Southern California last week.

The Pac-10 tournament is being played at Staples Center, a neutral court located about 15 miles from UCLA.

The fifth-seeded Beavers (17-13) will face No. 8 Arizona in Friday night's semifinals. The top-seeded Wildcats beat eighth-seeded California 88-63 in the tournament opener.

Freshman Sasa Cuic scored 12 points, David Lucas had 11 and Jason Fontenot added 10 for Oregon State, which went ahead for good in the opening three minutes.

Dijon Thompson led fourth-seeded UCLA (18-10) with 21 points. Freshman Jordan Farmar added 16 and Josh Shipp scored all 13 of his points and got 10 of his 11 rebounds in the second half.

The loss ended a season-high four-game winning streak for UCLA. Oregon State had entered the tournament having lost four of its previous six games. The Beavers have clinched their first winning season in 15 years.

Oregon State shot 25-of-51 and 7-of-16 from 3-point range while the Bruins went 25-of-67 and 7-of-27 from outside the arc. Thompson was 8-of-20 and Farmar went 6-of-19.

Oregon State led 51-33 before Shipp scored his first eight points of the game in less than two minutes to move UCLA within 10. He hadn't attempt a shot before that.

The Beavers extended their lead to 14 before Thompson made two 3-pointers during a 10-0 run that made it 55-51 with 9{ minutes left.

But that was as close as the Bruins would get. DeWitz made a three-point play and Fontenot added a 3-point shot during an 8-1 run that gave Oregon State a 65-54 lead with 6:17 to go. UCLA wasn't closer than six points after that.

Oregon State took a 10-point lead in the first six minutes, and the Beavers got two 3-pointers by Cuic and one each by Fontenot and Stephens to help them extend their advantage to 36-15.

UCLA was 5-of-20 from the floor including 0-of-7 from 3-point range and had eight turnovers at that stage.

Ryan Hollins ended a 10-0 Oregon State run by making two free throws, and Thompson made a 3-pointer for UCLA's first field goal in over seven minutes before Oregon State went on a 9-3 run for a 22-point lead.

The Bruins then scored the last seven points of the first half to make it 45-30.

Jim Harrick, who coached UCLA to its 11th and most recent NCAA championship 10 years ago, attended the game. Harrick, fired from UCLA shortly before the 1996-97 season for lying on an expense account, is now a scout for the Denver Nuggets.

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