10:30 PM ET, January 30, 2003
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- With 11 national championship banners hanging in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA isn't into moral victories.Even though the Bruins played their most competitive game in weeks and owned a rare lead in the first half, they were left with the same lousy feeling after a 96-91 overtime loss to Oregon (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) on Thursday night.Luke Jackson scored 27 points despite playing with a taped right hand and freshman Ian Crosswhite had eight of his career-high 22 points in overtime as the Ducks handed UCLA its seventh straight loss, the Bruins' longest skid in 57 years."We made progress in the sense that we played hard for 40 minutes,'' said Jason Kapono, who led UCLA with 21 points. "We just don't know how to pull out the close games yet. We made a positive step by playing hard. Obviously, the step that we needed to take is to win.''The Ducks (15-4, 5-3 Pac-10) won their first conference road game after two losses and they own a three-game winning streak over the Bruins for the first time since 1976-77. Oregon, which swept UCLA last season, has won five straight overall."This was a huge win,'' said Luke Ridnour, who had 11 points and 10 assists. "Anytime you win the first road game it gives you confidence for the next. Luke really stepped up with an amazing performance. What a great sight.''Jackson came off the bench and played with tape on his right hand after cutting his ring finger against Washington on Jan. 23. He missed last week's game against Washington State."I wasn't sure if I wanted to play because of the pain or if coach would let me play,'' he said. "I wanted to win so bad that the pain wasn't there. The win says a lot about our program. Ian Crosswhite took over and single-handedly carried us home.''The Bruins (4-12, 2-6) shot 52 percent -- their highest since their last win Jan. 4 at Washington State -- but weren't able to snap their longest losing streak since dropping seven straight in the 1945-46 season. They extended the record for most losses at Pauley in a season to eight."When you're in a stretch like we have been, when you're not able to get positive momentum, you have to get incremental success,'' UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. "This is a good basketball team, whether we see that this year or in the future. It's going to be a very good team down the road.''The Bruins blew a chance to win in regulation when Ryan Walcott tossed up a wide-open airball.UCLA led 91-89 in overtime when Kapono's shot bounced off the rim. Crosswhite completed a three-point play to give Oregon the lead for good, 92-91. Walcott fouled Luke Ridnour, who made both for a 94-91 lead with 27 seconds left.Dijon Thompson turned the ball over to Ridnour, who again got fouled by Walcott. Ridnour made both for 96-91 lead with nine seconds left. Cedric Bozeman's shot bounced off the rim and Kapono missed as time expired."UCLA is like a sleeping giant,'' Jackson said. "They got on a roll with some fast breaks and when Kapono gets going they can be a great basketball team. They played us tough. I hope we can learn from this and learn to grind out wins on the road. That's what good teams do.''James Davis added 15 points, including five 3-pointers, for the Ducks. Oregon's 13 3-pointers tied the Pauley record for most by an opponent set by Arizona State in 1993. Crosswhite, a native of Australia, had a career-high 12 rebounds.Thompson added 19 points, Bozeman 17 and freshmen Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey had 11 points each for UCLA. Hollins also had 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots in his second start of the season. His points, rebounds and blocks were career highs. "This is the first time all year Ryan and I were on the floor the entire game,'' Fey said. "We had a big low post presence, and we both did a good job.'' For the first time in weeks, the crowd of 9,008 cheered the Bruins throughout and got on its feet in the final minutes. The Bruins have heard mostly boos and jeering from fans unimpressed by their lethargy on defense and poor perimeter shooting."They battled like crazy and pushed us to the brink,'' Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "It was their best performance in at least the last 10 games. The fans applauded them when they left the court and UCLA deserved that applause.''Jackson scored three consecutive baskets, including a falling down jumper and a one-handed scoop shot, to give Oregon a 74-73 lead with 5:05 remaining. Thompson scored on a fastbreak dunk and then hit a 3-pointer for a 78-74 lead.Davis answered with his fifth 3-pointer. Jackson scored off a backdoor cut to put Oregon ahead 79-78 with 3:30 left. Kapono's two free throws gave UCLA a 80-79 lead with 1:15 left.Crosswhite scored inside and Oregon led 81-80 with 50 seconds to go. Hollins got fouled, missed the first free throw and made the second to tie it at 81.Ridnour had the ball knocked away by Bozeman. Ridnour stumbled, fell and got the ball back but the shot clock expired with 4.2 seconds left. Walcott's airball forced overtime.
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