Jan. 8, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - An easy win was just what No. 24 UCLA wanted.
Jason Kapono scored 20 points to lead four players in double figures as the Bruins overcame a slow start to defeat Washington State 86-64 Saturday.
UCLA (9-3, 1-1 Pac-10) won convincingly after a string of five games that ended in margins of five points or less, including a 63-62 loss Thursday at Washington.
"I was proud of how our team responded from a very disappointing loss at Washington," Bruins coach Steve Lavin said. "Our offensive rhythm was probably better than it has been all season."
The Cougars (5-6, 0-2) lost to UCLA for the 14th straight time, a streak dating to 1993. It was Washington State's worst home loss since 1990, when Arizona won by 26 points.
After trailing at the half 45-30, Washington State got no closer than 11 points the rest of the way. The Bruins put the game away with a 17-8 run early in the half.
Washington State made four early 3-pointers to take a 14-11 lead. The Cougars scored 21 of their first 25 points from behind the arc.
UCLA moved ahead for good by outscoring Washington State 34-16 in the closing 12:32.
Washington State was held to just one 3-pointer on four attempts in the second half.
Cougars coach Paul Graham said his team emphasized inside play in the second half.
"When your legs go, your shot goes," he said. "That's why we were able to get the ball inside."
Lavin said the Bruins let the Cougars' top scorers, Jan-Michael Thomas and Chris Crosby, get too many easy baskets in the first half. UCLA didn't give the duo much leeway in the second.
"We made a little better adjustment to making their shooters drive to the basket and not allowing them to have uncontested 3-point looks," Lavin said.
Kapono finished 8-for-12 and had a team-high six assists to lead the Bruins, who also got 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting from Dan Gazduric.
Billy Knight added 14 points - 12 from 3-point range - and Rico Hines finished with 12.
Mike Bush led the Cougars with a career-high 19 points, 16 in the second half. Crosby had 17 points but was held to four in the second half, while 12 of Thomas' 14 points came in the first half.
Washington State suited up just nine players to the Bruins' 11, forcing Graham to keep four players in 30 minutes or longer to UCLA's two.
Washington State reserve forwards Tyrone Evans and Bryan Whitehead were both out with knee injuries.