Jan 26, 2002
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Jason Kapono and Billy Knight hit key baskets over the final 4:19 and No. 13 UCLA beat California 64-57 on Saturday to avoid a three-game losing streak for the first time in two years.
The Bruins (14-5) moved into a tie for second in the Pac-10 at 6-3 with No. 10 Arizona, and avoided a sweep by the Bay Area schools.
UCLA lost 86-76 to No. 17 Stanford on Thursday, and had blown a 20-point lead before losing to the Wildcats a week ago.
California (14-4, 5-3) had its four-game winning streak snapped and dropped into a tie with Stanford for third in the league.
Kapono led the Bruins with 17 points, and Knight added 16.
Joe Shipp scored 15 points to lead the Golden Bears, who tossed up several desperation 3-point attempts in the final minute. But they all missed, unlike Thursday night when the Bears surprised No. 23 Southern California 92-91 in overtime on a 3-pointer by Shantay Legans.
The Bears, the league's worst 3-point shooting team, were 5-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Although UCLA led the entire second half, twice the Bears got within one point with 10 minutes remaining. Both times the Bruins answered with baskets - on a layup by Matt Barnes off freshman Cedric Bozeman's alley-oop pass and freshman Dijon Thompson's score off a steal.
Bozeman scored inside to give UCLA a 50-45 lead with 8:54 remaining. Free throws by freshman Jamal Sampson and Shipp drew California within three.
UCLA's Dan Gadzuric missed two consecutive 1-and-1 opportunities, then Bozeman missed the front end of a 1-and-1 as the Bruins clung to their three-point lead.
But Knight then sparked a 14-10 run with two consecutive baskets to close out a game in which the Bruins tied their second-lowest scoring output of the season. They also had 64 points in a victory over Columbia.
Kapono's basket gave UCLA a six-point lead and then he hit two free throws to stretch the lead to nine points with 22 seconds left.
Gadzuric stayed out of foul trouble for the first time in four games, and finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bruins fell behind by six with seven minutes left in the first half on a series of turnovers and fouls. Dennis Gates hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Bears their largest lead of the half, 23-17.
UCLA revived itself with a 15-7 run, including 12 in a row, to end the half ahead 32-30. Kapono hit a 3-pointer off a steal and Bozeman followed with a 3.
UCLA guard Rico Hines played five minutes after sitting out three consecutive games because of headaches from a concussion he sustained Jan. 8.