Kris Johnson scores vs. Cal.

Bruins Escape with 74-73 Win at Cal

Johnson's 25 points, 13 rebounds lead the way for UCLA

Jan. 15, 1998

AP Sports Writer

Box Score

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - UCLA made sure if it came down to the last shot, it wouldn't be enough for California.

With tight defense on the perimeter in the final moments, No. 8 UCLA prevented Cal's Raymond King from getting off a potential game-tying 3-point attempt and hung on for a 74-73 victory Thursday night.

"We had 11 seconds to go, trying to spread the floor," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "Raymond went up to shoot the three and he just got blanketed. He did well just to get rid of it."

King dished off to Sean Marks, who went in for an uncontested dunk. But UCLA inbounded the ball and ran out the last three seconds before Cal could stop the clock by fouling.

"It was just one of those things. We were out of timeouts," Braun said.

Kris Johnson scored 25 points, including 19 in the second half, to lead UCLA (13-2, 4-1 Pac-10). J.R. Henderson had 23 and Toby Bailey added 16.

Johnson also had 13 rebounds for UCLA, which won at Cal for the fifth time in its last six trips.

"Hats off to Ben Braun," UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. "He was well prepared as usual. His team fought their fannies off. We have so many deficiencies. We're not a good basketball team right now. We survived but Stanford is going to be five times the challenge as tonight's game."

UCLA plays at unbeaten and seventh-ranked Stanford on Saturday.

"I wish we were 15-0 and beating everybody by 30 but I need to stop and give kids some credit for being 13-2 right now," Lavin added.

Michael Gill's 14 points led Cal (5-7, 1-3 Pac-10). Geno Carlisle added 13 points, Thomas Kilgore 12 and Marks 11.

Carlisle's layup had given Cal a one-point edge but Bailey answered with a 3-pointer with 2:22 left and Johnson added two free throws for a 72-68 lead with 1:18 remaining.

The Bears got a three-point play from Francisco Elson to get back within a point. Bailey and Johnson each hit one of two free throws, allowing UCLA to withstand Marks' dunk and secure its fourth straight conference win since losing the opener to Arizona.

Trailing by seven at halftime, the Bruins pulled to 55-53 on Johnson's 3-pointer with 8:43 remaining. Cal scored the next six points but the Bruins rallied again, closing to 65-64 when Henderson hit a bank shot with 5:27 left.

Henderson added a pair of free throws with 2:54 remaining, capping a 12-3 run and moving the Bruins in front for the first time since late in the first half. Cal was up by eight points when the Bruins began the run after Kilgore was called for a technical for throwing the ball toward Henderson.

Gill connected on a 3-pointer for the final points of the first half, putting Cal up 32-25 at the break.

The Bears missed their first six shots and UCLA broke on top 8-0 but the Bruins, who had 13 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, began having ball handling problems and lost the lead because of them.

After Bailey's 3-pointer put the Bruins up 21-15, Cal surged in front with a 10-0 run, scoring the first eight points in the flurry after UCLA turnovers.

Kilgore had four points in the run and a pair of steals.