UCLA Escapes from Arizona State, 78-73

J.R. Henderson Scores Career-High 31 Points

Jan. 5, 1998

Box Score

TEMPE, Ariz. - With J.R. Henderson the only one of UCLA's three senior starters a factor down the stretch against Arizona State, freshman Baron Davis made the leap into Pac-10 maturity.

Davis brought the Bruins from behind with a steal, two jumpers and a key defensive rebound in a 78-73 UCLA win Monday night.

"I was struggling offensively, and J.R. freed me up a lot on the pick-and-rolls," Davis said. "So once I came off the pick and saw they were doubling and rotating toward him, I had to be the one to step up and make the shot."

It was UCLA's 18th consecutive win over Arizona State, which hasn't beaten the Bruins (10-2, 1-1) since 1989. The Sun Devils (11-4, 1-1) haven't beaten a ranked team since a double-overtime upset of Arizona in 1995, but pushed the Bruins to the limit this time.

"This is the toughest road trip in the Pac-10. A lot of teams will get swept in Arizona," coach Steve Lavin said.

Davis, who had a season-low five points and fouled out Saturday night in a loss at Arizona, was scoreless at halftime and played the final 13:50 with four fouls.

But he grabbed a pass from the Sun Devils' Ahlon Lewis at midcourt and dunked to tie it 63-63 with 5:31 to play.

After Arizona State's Bobby Lazor made a free throw, Davis gave the Bruins the lead for good at the 4:57 mark with a 13-foot jumper from the side. He hit another from the same spot with 2:06 to go for a 75-68 UCLA lead.

With 30 seconds left, Eddie House missed a 3-pointer, and Davis got the rebound. He was fouled and made one free throw to expand the lead to 76-70 with 23 seconds left.

Henderson scored a career-high 31 points - 19 in the second half - and 11 rebounds for the Bruins. Kris Johnson had 13 before fouling out with 12:52 to play on a technical foul after a nose-to-nose confrontation with Arizona State's Jason Patton.

Jeremy Veal scored 21 points and Lazor had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Sun Devils (11-4, 1-1), who had won five in a row and were 10-0 this season at home.

Arizona State grabbed a 63-58 lead on a three-point play by Lazor with 6:12 to go.

But Henderson had a putback and a three-point play in a 29-second span, simultaneously fouling out Mike Batiste, who scored 12 points for the Sun Devils, with 5:48 to play.

"We wanted to go at him," Henderson said. "We knew he had four fouls, and he's a big part of their offense, so we just kept wanted to keep pounding it inside."

Henderson made 10-of-15 shots and sank 11-of-13 free throws, sinking five down the stretch, and Brandon Loyd made a 3-pointer, only his second basket of the game.

Lazor said the absence of Batiste, who played only 18 minutes, hurt the Sun Devils.

"We had a shorter lineup in there toward the end, and they hit some big shots. That one kid - I don't know his name - hit a big `3,"' Lazor said of Loyd.

The teams fought to a 34-34 tie after a first half filled with wild swings of momentum.

Johnson had eight points in the first 9:02, leading UCLA to a 24-12 lead.

But the Bruins went the next 6:52 without scoring, and Arizona State went ahead 25-24 on a 10-foot runner by House.

Lazor dunked for a 33-27 lead late in the half, but Johnson tied it with a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left.

"I couldn't be any more proud," Arizona State coach Don Newman said after ASU outrebounded UCLA 45-38. "We played a tremendously talented team, and we had our chances."