Bruins Hold Off Washington State in OT, 58-54

March 5, 2011

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PULLMAN, Wash. (AP and staff) - Malcolm Lee hit four free throws in the closing seconds of overtime to lift UCLA to a 58-54 victory over wounded Washington State on Saturday.

Arizona's victory earlier in the day prevented UCLA (22-9, 13-5 Pac-10) from having a chance to tie the Wildcats for the Pac-10 title.

The Bruins, who trailed by 15 in the first half and 13 (32-19) at halftime, allowed just 22 points in the second half and overtime to lock up the No. 2 seed in next week's Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center.

UCLA will open play in the first game of Thursday's evening session (6:00 pm) versus the winner of Wednesday night's game between No. 7 seed Oregon and No. 10-seed Arizona State.

Washington State (19-11, 9-9) played without suspended star Klay Thompson and injured point guard Reggie Moore. But it nearly managed to break a home losing streak to UCLA that now stands at 18.

Faisal Aden hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 54 with 1:17 left.

The Bruins turned it over on a shot clock violation, but the Cougars gave it right back whe Tyler Honeycutt forced a turnover than Reeves Nelson grabbed and passed to Lee, who was fouled while going for a layup with 6.9 seconds left. He made both for a 56-54 lead. Washington State turned over the ball on the inbounds play and had to foul. Lee made both for the final points.

Reeves Nelson led the Bruins with 23 points and eight rebounds. Honeycutt had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Lee finished with 11 points and four assists and Joshua Smith had 10 points and five rebounds.

Thompson, leading scorer in the Pac-10 at 21 points per game, was suspended for the game after he was cited for marijuana possession on Thursday night. Moore suffered an ankle injury in Thursday's victory over USC.

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