Sun Devils Slip Past Bruins
By BETH HARRIS
LOS ANGELES - Curtis Millage scored 23 points and Arizona State repelled a late rally to beat UCLA 75-64 Thursday night and win consecutive games at Pauley Pavilion for the first time in Sun Devils' history.
Arizona State (12-4) improved to 4-1 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1987-88. Last season, the Sun Devils beat UCLA 69-68 at Pauley to snap a 15-game losing streak dating to 1987.
The Bruins (4-8, 2-2) fell to 2-6 on their home floor, where they haven't won in more than a month. Newly instituted full-court pressure and five-man substitutions failed to keep the Bruins from losing their third in a row.
The cheering was at its loudest when the Bruins closed within six in the final four minutes after being down 21 points early in the second half.
But the Sun Devils, who held a double-digit lead most of the game, pulled away by outscoring UCLA 11-6 in the final 3:21. Millage was fouled by Dijon Thompson on a 3-point attempt and he made all three shots.
Freshman Ike Diogu, the Sun Devils' leading scorer, and Tommy Smith added 16 points each. Smith also had 10 rebounds as Arizona State controlled the boards, 33-27.
Jason Kapono scored 17 points after taking just two shots in the first half when the Bruins trailed by 18 at the break. UCLA shot 44 percent from the floor; Arizona State had held nine opponents under 40 percent.
The Sun Devils led 60-42 with 9½ minutes left when UCLA began its comeback. The Bruins used a 16-4 run, including seven by Thompson, to trail 64-58 with 4:13 left. UCLA's press forced a turnover, but Kapono missed a basket that would have put the Bruins within four.
The Sun Devils missed four consecutive free throws until Millage hit both of his for a 66-58 lead.
Five minutes in, Lavin made the first of several wholesale substitutions in which all five players were replaced. The Sun Devils were too quick to be held up by UCLA's press, a tactic the team decided to employ during a Monday meeting in which Lavin explained to the players that he wasn't resigning.
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