LOS ANGELES -- Larry Drew II made a 15-foot jump shot at the final buzzer to give UCLA a 59-57 victory over Washington Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion. It ended a two-game losing streak for the Bruins.
Here's a quick recap:
How it happened: The game was tight all the way, with neither team taking a lead of more than six points, so to have it come down to a game winner was no surprise.
Washington tied the score at 57-57 on a driving shot by C.J. Wilcox with 10 seconds to play. UCLA had a timeout left, but did not use it. Drew, the point guard, took the in-bounds pass, dribbled the ball up the court, broke out to the left wing and swished the game winner as the final horn sounded.
Washington's 36-32 lead with 16:44 to play was the largest lead for the Huskies in the second half. Shabazz Muhammad made a 3-pointer to cut Washington's lead to 36-35 with 16:16 to play, and neither team led by more than two points until Jordan Adams scored on a fast break to give UCLA a 47-43 lead with 7:06 remaining.
The Bruins extended their lead to 49-43, the largest lead of the game for either team, but Abdul Gaddy made a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch to tighten things back up.
Muhammad had a game-high 22 points on 8-of-23 shooting and added eight rebounds. Wilcox had 15 points for the Huskies and Aziz N'Diaye had 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.
Player of the game: Drew's game winner trumps Muhammad's point total. Drew had nine points on an efficient 4-of-7 shooting. The game winner was his third of the season, adding Washington to a list of victims that includes UC Irvine and Utah.
Stat of the game: The Bruins shot a season-low 33.3 percent (22-of-66) and were outrebounded 46-36, yet won the game. It is the third consecutive game the Bruins have shot below 40 percent, and the third consecutive game they have been outrebounded -- but the first of those three they have won.
What it means: The Bruins keep their Pac-12 title hopes alive, but their rebounding and shooting woes the past few games are a major concern.
What’s next: UCLA plays Washington State on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT at Pauley Pavilion. Washington heads across town to play USC on Saturday at 7.
It would have been Kerr's second no-hitter as a Bruin. She threw a perfect game as a freshman in 2008.
Kellie Fox had a three-run homer in the fifth to give Kerr and the 11th-ranked Bruins (30-9, 6-4 Pac-10) more than they would need.
Kerr (12-3) retired 17 in a row after walking Jenn Salling in the first inning. Ironically enough, Salling was the one that laid down the bunt single to open up the seventh.
The 4-0 victory was UCLA's seventh shutout of the season.
Perhaps this is the turning point head coach John Savage has been hoping for. UCLA had lost seven of its last 11 games heading into the weekend set.
Not surprisingly, the Bruins (14-9, 5-1 Pac-10) did it with their pitching. Gerrit Cole went the distance in a 2-1 win Friday night, Trevor Bauer pitched eight innings in a 5-3 win Saturday and freshman Adam Plutko allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings before Cody Regis' walk-off RBI double Sunday.
UCLA hits the road this week, playing UC Riverside (11-11) Tuesday night and Washington State (11-12, 1-5) during the weekend.
The Bruins (12-1, 2-0) have that sort of effect. Their two-point loss to Louisiana State was more their doing. UCLA, ranked No. 9 in last week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, responded with a pair of wins -- at Washington and Washington State -- to open Pac-10 play.
Friday, Dec. 31: UCLA 60, Washington 48
UCLA trailed by eight points early in the second half before taking the lead with 12 minutes remaining and pulling away late. Rebekah Gardner had a team-high 15 point off the bench.
Sunday, Jan. 2: UCLA 80, Washington State 55
Doreena Campbell, Darxia Morris and Jasmine Dixoneach had 12 points to lead UCLA offensively. The Bruins' high-pressure defense forced 26 turnovers.
Up next:UCLA faces crosstown rival USC (10-3, 2-0), winners of six straight, at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday. Caldwell is 3-2 against the Women of Troy since taking over in Westwood. Tip-off is at 1:30 p.m. PT.
1FREE THROW DISPARITY GOES TO WASTE
UCLA had the right idea: slow the game down, stop the clock, attack Washington's big men, get to the free-throw line.
The Bruins spent considerably more time at the stripe than did Washington. In fact, UCLA had more attempts in the first half (19) than the Huskies had for the whole game (15). It seemed like the right formula -- the Bruins had been a perfect 8-0 when shooting at least the same number of free throws as their opponents.
But what's the point of getting to the line if you can't convert? UCLA was 25-for-36 (69.4 percent) on free throws Friday, yet actually raised its overall season average from 64.6 to 65.2. It's probably not a good sign if even poor performances mark improvement.
"If you're going to beat the team picked to win the conference, you've got to make your foul shots," coach Ben Howland said. "You've got to shoot 80 percent, you've got to shoot 85 percent."
Here's the problem: Howland doesn't have one 80-percent free-throw shooter on the squad. Starting guards Lazeric Jones (79.4 percent) and Malcolm Lee (78.7) come the closest.
2BARK, BARK, BARK
A pair of Washington forwards had themselves quite the homecoming Friday.
Junior Darnell Gant (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw) nailed a clutch three-pointer to extend the Huskies' lead to nine with 3:21 to go, while senior Justin Holiday (Chatsworth, Calif./Campbell Hall) altered UCLA's attack by forcing Tyler Honeycutt into foul trouble early. Gant's make came on his only long-range attempt.
Holiday scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds as younger brother and former UCLA guard Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers) watched from his seat directly across from the Bruins' bench. After making a three-pointer in front of UCLA's bench midway through the first half, the elder Holiday turned around and yelled something.
"I don't know what he said," Honeycutt said. "But he said something."
Holiday's taunting earned him a technical foul. He'll have bragging rights until the teams meet again on March 3 in Seattle.
3POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
C Aziz N'Diaye (5.3 points, 6.3 rebounds)
F Matthew Bryan-Amaning (14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds)
F Justin Holiday (12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds)
G Isaiah Thomas (15.3 points, 3.8 assists)
G Abdul Gaddy (9.0 points, 3.9 assists)
C Joshua Smith (10.1 points, 6.8 rebounds)
F Reeves Nelson (14.7 points, 8.0 rebounds)
F Tyler Honeycutt (14.8 points, 8.1 rebounds)
G Malcolm Lee (12.8 points, 2.0 assists)
G Lazeric Jones (11.3 points, 3.5 assists)
Reeves Nelson vs. Himself -- If we've learned anything about UCLA this season, it's that sophomore forward Reeves Nelson is his own worst enemy. The yin and yang tattoo on his left shoulder says it all -- it's about balancing his two energies. At times he's the most determined player on the floor, hustling and battling for every rebound and loose ball. Other times, he's way off (a combined 13 points in the games against Montana and UC Irvine serving as proof). And when he's going good -- as he was in the second half of the Bruins' 80-71 win against Washington State on Wednesday -- UCLA appears to be an entirely different offensive machine. He turned it on Wednesday, scoring 13 of his 21 points after the break to help the Bruins erase an eight-point halftime deficit.
ABOUT THE HUSKIES
Washington was ranked as high as No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Nov. 22, but has not appeared in the top 25 since Dec. 6. ... The Huskies, 73-67 overtime winners at USC on Wednesday, have not swept an L.A. road trip since 2006 (which is also the last time Washington won at Pauley Pavilion). ... Washington leads the Pac-10 in nearly every category, including scoring (89.1 points per game), scoring margin (+21.0) and three-point field goal percentage (41.9%). ... Senior forward Justin Holiday, the older brother of former UCLA guard Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers), led North Hollywood Campbell Hall to the state Div. IV championship. ... There are two other local products on Washington's roster -- sophomore forward Tyreese Breshers (Los Angeles, Calif./Price) and junior forward Darnell Gant (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw).
One of the lone bright spots from last year's disastrous 14-18 season was former walk-on Mustafa Abdul-Hamid's buzzer-beater that gave UCLA a thrilling 62-61 win over Washington at Pauley Pavilion. Adbul-Hamid is currently playing for KK Hemofarm in Serbia.