March 8, 2001
PULLMAN, Wash. -- UCLA's Jason Kapono scored a game-high 28 points to lead the 13th-ranked Bruins to an 86-76 victory over Washington State, Thursday night at Friel Court.
The win, couple with Arizona's 76-75 victory at Stanford, kept the Bruins (21-7, 14-3) alive in the Pac-10 race. UCLA is one game back of Stanford and tied with Arizona with one game remaining. WSU (12-15, 5-12) saw its NIT chances squelched.
Kapono was one of four Bruins to score in double figures. Dan Gadzuric recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Billy Knight added 14 points, Earl Watson 13 and Matt Barnes 11.
WSU took a 69-65 lead with 8:40 to play following an 8-0 run. A three-point play by Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year J Locklier (Rock Hill, S.C.) brought the Cougars within one and a pair of free throws by fellow junior Framecio Little (Anderson, S.C.) with 9:22 remaining put WSU on top 66-65.
Moore capped the rally with a three-pointer to push the WSU lead to 69-65.
However, the Bruins responded by outscoring the Cougars 21-7 over the final 8:40 to post the 10-point victory.
Watson scored four straight points to put UCLA up 71-69 with 5:54 left and the Bruins took the lead for good at 74-71 on a three-point play by Kapono at the 4:30 mark.
Another three-point play by Kapono with 2:49 stretched the lead to 79-71 and Barnes finished a 10-0 spurt with a layup to increase UCLA's advantage to 81-71 with just 2:17 to play.
"Again, I thought our team ran out of gas at the end," WSU head coach Paul Graham said. "They had better players down the stretch that were rested and better than we are. We just got beat by a really good basketball team."
The Cougars close out their season at 1 p.m. Saturday against USC in Pullman.