March 17, 2007
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Indiana's game plan hearkened back to the days of Four Corners offenses and set shots, and it nearly worked - until UCLA punched a hole in its peach basket and squeaked into the next round of the NCAA tournament.
Darren Collison scored 15 points, hit two late free throws and made the game-deciding steal as UCLA survived both the Hoosiers' stifling defense and their frantic tying rally for a 54-49 second-round victory Saturday night in the West Regional.
Arron Afflalo managed just 10 points for second-seeded UCLA (28-5), which led 20-13 after a first half dominated by defensive hustle - and downright offensive ineptitude by both teams. Indiana tied it at 49 with a minute left after a 16-3 rally, but Afflalo and Collison finished it off with free throws.
The Bruins are headed to the round of 16 for the fifth time in eight years - and the second straight campaign under coach Ben Howland, whose team lost the national championship game to Florida last season.
Awaiting Howland in the next round is a matchup with his old team, the Pitt Panthers.
D.J. White and Earl Calloway scored 12 points apiece for Indiana (21-11), which finished its encouraging first season under coach Kelvin Sampson with a tournament game that should have a place in the schools' rich history, which includes five championships. UCLA has 11 titles.