Bruins Use Defensive Pressure, Baron Davis, to Beat Cougars 88-68
January 29, 1998
LOS ANGELES - Freshman Baron Davis was dominant in the second half as UCLA defeated Washington State 88-68 Thursday night before 10,024 at Pauley Pavilion.
For the second time in four seasons the visiting Cougars (8-11 overall, 1-7 Pacific-10) led at the half, 34-33. The Bruins (16-3, 6-2), who guaranteed an NCAA record 50th consecutive winning season, broke the game open early in the second half with an abundance of defensive pressure.
"The first ten minutes of the second half were the most intense ten minutes I've seen all year," said WSU head coach Kevin Eastman.
The Cougars turned the ball over on five of their first six possessions of the second half as UCLA forced 11 WSU turnovers in the first seven minutes of the period. All told, the Cougars committed a season-high 29 turnovers.
"I told them at the half that we had to have a different tempo," said UCLA head coach Steve Lavin. "(The Cougars) was too comfortable running their offense so we got them playing faster and forced 29 turnovers, which is a coach's dream."
Davis, who finished with a game-high 21 points, himself outscored the Cougars 19- 17 in the first 10:40 of the second half. His final basket, a baseline jump shot after a cross-over dribble, put the Bruins ahead 70-51.
UCLA led by as many as six points in the first half, 26-20 with 7:23 to go, but the Cougars responded with a 14-7 run to close the half that featured five different WSU scorers. Steve Slotemaker's putback of his own missed shot at 1:14 gave WSU its one-point halftime advantage.
Senior Carlos Daniel paced the Cougars with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Quotes from Washington State head coach Kevin Eastman - "(The game) turned around when UCLA decided to come and play. A team that talented a potentially explosive, shooting the way that they did, was a little too much for us to handle. I'm sure (UCLA head coach) Steve Lavin went in at halftime and said, 'this is Washington State and we can't allow this to happen'."
Quotes from UCLA head coach Steve Lavin - "I thought the first half was slow and terrible. There was no ball spacing, screening or movement. Obviously, the difference in the game was our full-court press in the second half which brought great energy and helped us win the game. I thought Baron did a tremendous job penetrating and being on balance. Tonight was a clear example of how he controls a game."
* Washington State has a record of 0-41 vs. UCLA in Los Angeles, 0-33 vs. UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.
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