N Arizona 67

(6-2, 3-2 away)


(2-3, 2-2 home)

    10:30 PM ET, December 17, 2002

    Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

    1 2 T
    NAU 26 4167
    UCLA 32 3163

    Big Sky's Northern Arizona stuns UCLA

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After losing to No. 1 Arizona by 36 points last month, Northern Arizona still wasn't intimidated by teams from the Pacific-10.

    The Lumberjacks proved it by upsetting UCLA 67-63 Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive victory since the Arizona defeat on Nov. 27.

    Wow, what a rough night for the Pac-10! All the fans on the West Coast must be wondering what's happened in terms of basketball supremacy. In case you missed it, three of the Pac-10's big boys -- Oregon, Stanford and UCLA -- went down Tuesday night. All three were favored to win. Not only did they go down, but these were Shock City losses. More...

    Ryan McDade had 22 points and 12 rebounds -- his 20th career double-double to lead the Big Sky -- and Northern Arizona hit nine 3-pointers in the second half when the Bruins managed just one.

    "The win is not stunning to us. We have a lot of confidence,'' said McDade, who noted the Lumberjacks had an advantage playing away from the thin air of Flagstaff.

    "We play at 7,000 feet, so we came down here and were able to run all over the court.''

    Northern Arizona improved to 6-2 for the first time since the 1985-86 season with its first victory over a Pac-10 team since 1998-99. The Lumberjacks had held their previous four opponents to 33 percent shooting. The Bruins hit 49 percent for the game.

    "Arizona prepared us for this,'' coach Mike Adras said. "We didn't bail out, which gave us a chance to win in the second half.''

    The Bruins (2-3), who had won their last two games by an average of 30 points, suffered their second stunning loss just four days before they travel to Kansas (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP). San Diego beat them 86-81 in overtime to open what has been a rocky season. The Bruins' troubles began even earlier, with two defeats in exhibition games for the first time since the early 1990s.

    "I don't think we've got our heads down too bad because we've already been here,'' said T.J. Cummings, who had 16 points for the Bruins.

    UCLA was a 20½-point favorite to beat the Big Sky team.

    "It's the biggest win in the history of the university because we beat a good opponent on their own floor,'' Adras said. "But it does nothing for us in terms of the NCAA (tournament). We can celebrate, but we need to win the Big Sky.''

    Aaron Bond added 14 points, Kelly Golob had 13 points and Kyle Feuerbach had 12 points, including four 3-pointers in a row in the second half, for the Lumberjacks.

    Dijon Thompson added 14 points for the Bruins, who led by 10 points in the first half and then trailed most of the second half.

    Northern Arizona trailed 32-26 at halftime, but stunned the Bruins by hitting three consecutive 3-pointers to open the final 20 minutes.

    After UCLA tied the game at 44 on an inside basket by Andre Patterson with 12:48 remaining, the Bruins never led again.

    "They were able to negate our size advantage by knocking down threes and getting the ball inside,'' said UCLA coach Steve Lavin, who again was the target of derisive shouts from the crowd at the buzzer. "It was discouraging because we thought we'd made a little bit of progress over last week, but we just took a step backward.''

    The Lumberjacks, who shot 69 percent from 3-point range in the second half, kept firing away without any hands in their faces. Bond hit a 3-pointer, then Feuerbach hit four consecutive 3-pointers to give Northern Arizona its largest lead 60-52 with 5:21 remaining.

    "We need to get to their shooters,'' Cummings said. "And have a better understanding of who their shooters are and stay with them.''

    A small contingent of Northern Arizona fans could be heard loudly in the crowd of 5,736 as UCLA's supporters watched mostly in silence.

    Cummings scored eight of UCLA's final 13 points, including a tip-in of Jason Kapono's 3-pointer that bounced off the rim, to get the Bruins to 64-63 with 34 seconds left.

    "At the five-minute mark, I tried to put everything I had into the game,'' Cummings said. "I was really working to get touches in the paint. It just wasn't enough.''

    After Bond hit two free throws for a 66-63 lead, Kapono missed a 3-pointer.

    "I'd take that 20 more times,'' Kapono said. "It's upsetting that I missed it. There was a lot of things we could have done better not to be in that positions.''

    McDade grabbed the rebound and got fouled by Thompson with 2.8 seconds left. He made the first and missed the second to close out the victory.

    "We were all over Kapono and when he got a catch, we put hands in his face,'' McDade said of holding the UCLA star to 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting.

    The Lumberjacks had only nine healthy players available and three of them did all the scoring in the first half. Northern Arizona controlled the boards 29-25 and its 19 turnovers were three more than UCLA.

    "It's all about position and who wants it more,'' McDade said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2002-03 Season

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