Michigan 79

(6-5, 0-2 away)


(6-1, 6-1 home)

    5:00 PM ET, December 18, 2004

    Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

    1 2 T
    MICH 40 3979
    UCLA 42 3981

    Top Performers

    Michigan: R. Coleman 13 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast

    UCLA: D. Thompson 29 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    UCLA 81, Michigan 79

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A tired and injured Dijon Thompson came up with a career performance for UCLA.

    Thompson scored a career-best 29 points and hit a 3-pointer that gave the Bruins the lead for good with 44 seconds remaining as they held on for an 81-79 victory over Michigan on Saturday.

    The senior was playing his first game since cutting his right hand in a loss to Boston College in the Wooden Classic on Dec. 5. Thompson had two fingers taped together and 13 stitches in his still sore shooting hand. He won't have them removed until after the Bruins play at No. 21 Michigan State on Tuesday.

    "Dijon had his best game as a Bruin," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "He didn't press, he let it come to him."

    Besides being injured, Thompson appeared worn down playing 28 minutes. He hadn't done his usual conditioning in practice since the injury and the Bruins have been busy with finals week.

    "I just let the game come to myself," he said. "I felt that comfortable. I just felt different. There wasn't that much pressure on me."

    Thompson grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bruins, who shot 60 percent in the second half while holding Michigan to 39 percent.

    "Dijon Thompson just had an incredible game," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "He got into a rhythm and a groove. I thought he was the difference. We just had no way to stop him."

    The Bruins (6-1) rallied from a six-point deficit in the final 3:46 after leading most of the way. Freshman Jordan Farmar scored six points in that stretch -- all on free throws -- including two when the Bruins clung to a one-point lead.

    "He's old and mature and has experience," Farmar said of Thompson. "He's supposed to step up just like he did today."

    Chris Hunter scored 21 points before fouling out to lead four Wolverines in double figures. Courtney Sims and Dion Harris added 17 points each and Ron Coleman had 13 points and five assists.

    "I boxed him out, but he still got to the glass a lot and you can't let him catch the ball," Hunter said about Thompson. "We failed to box out and they got a lot of second-shot opportunities."

    The Bruins' defensive pressure in the closing minutes forced consecutive turnovers by Michigan (6-5).

    "We lost our composure," Harris said. "The crowd played a part and they (UCLA) really buckled down on defense. They played a little harder and raised their intensity towards the end."

    Michigan trailed by four points when the Wolverines went on a 14-4 run to take a 75-69 lead with 3:51 remaining. Sims had seven points in the spurt that gave Michigan its largest lead of the game.

    But the Bruins answered with a 6-0 run, including Thompson's putback of Arron Afflalo's missed jumper and a free throw by Farmar that tied the game at 75.

    The Wolverines committed two straight turnovers and then Hunter missed before UCLA's Michael Fey committed his fourth foul on John Andrews, who made both free throws for a 77-75 lead with 56 seconds left.

    Thompson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 78-77 lead with 44 seconds to go.

    "I was pretty confident," he said. "We run that play all night. I saw a really big space between me and the defender."

    Coleman lost the ball out of bounds for Michigan before Farmar was fouled. He made both to keep UCLA ahead 80-77 with 22 seconds left.

    Sims tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Hunter as Michigan trailed 80-79. Hunter then fouled Farmar with 7 seconds left. Farmar missed the first and made the second, finishing with 11 points and nine assists. Harris missed inside for Michigan as time expired.

    Michigan was without four players because of injuries. Wing Lester Abram had season-ending shoulder surgery on Thursday; forward Graham Brown is out 4-to-6 weeks after having hernia surgery; guard Daniel Horton is out at least four weeks with a left knee sprain; and guard Dani Wohl is out six weeks with a left elbow injury.

    "We just have to get everyone healthy and we'll be fine," Sims said. "We've got the pieces here. No need to worry about rebuilding. We just need to execute and play hard in the first minutes of the game to get us going."

    The Bruins beat the Wolverines for the first time in their last three meetings, having lost in 2002, when Michigan won at Pauley Pavilion for the first time, and last year when Michigan won 70-66 in Ann Arbor.

    At halftime, UCLA retired the No. 25 jersey of Gail Goodrich, who was on the Bruins' first two national championship teams in 1964 and '65. Those were coach John Wooden's first two of 10 national championship teams, and Wooden was on hand for the ceremony.

    "It's about time he had his UCLA number retired," said Wooden, noting that Goodrich already had his high school and NBA jerseys retired. Goodrich, 61, was a five-time All-Star guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Fittingly, Goodrich's jersey was retired during a game against Michigan. In the 1965 NCAA title game, the Bruins defeated Michigan, with Goodrich scoring 42 points. Cazzie Russell had 28 for the Wolverines.

    "My days at UCLA were probably the most enjoyable days I had in basketball," Goodrich told the crowd. "I had a great passion for the game and I could not wait until 3 o'clock in the afternoon to get to practice. I had so much fun and what made those days so enjoyable is that I was able to learn the game the right way from coach Wooden. Many of those lessons out here on the basketball court I was able to take with me and help me through life."

    Goodrich lives in Connecticut and works as a studio analyst for NBA TV.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 81
    FG Made-Attempted 28-60 (.467) 27-46 (.587)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-20 (.350) 6-15 (.400)
    FT Made-Attempted 16-20 (.800) 21-30 (.700)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 8

    2004-05 Season

    » Dec 18, 2004 @UCLA 81, MICH 79Recap