LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mike Gansey put on an offensive show, then
made the defensive play of the game.
Gansey capped his 24-point performance by swiping the ball away
in the last seven seconds, helping West Virginia (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today; No. 12 AP) survive a
furious rally to beat UCLA (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today; No. 18 AP) 60-56 Saturday for its 12th
"This was an ambitious endeavor by us to come all the way out
here, but as it turns out now, I'm glad we did," coach John
The Mountaineers (14-3) led by 20 points early in the second
half, but saw their lead shrink to three in the final 2 minutes.
The Bruins (15-4) missed game-tying 3-pointers by Arron Afflalo
and Jordan Farmar. Then, West Virginia had a foul to give when
Farmar inbounded the ball. Gansey stripped it away, ensuring the
"He had the ball in front of me and I just got lucky and tipped
it and stole it from him," Gansey said. "I'm feeling pretty happy
Farmar scored 22 points for UCLA, which outscored the
Mountaineers 29-13 over the final 14:43.
"He made a good play," Farmar said about Gansey. "He has
great anticipation. It was clean, no foul."
Kevin Pittsnogle, whose wife is expecting their first child on
Feb. 1, added eight points -- well off his 20.6 average. He had six
of West Virginia's first eight points of the second half, extending
its lead to 47-27.
"I was open on all the shots I took," he said. "I just didn't
make my shots like I normally do. Everybody played well except for
me. I'll just make it up next game."
After being held to a season-low 22 points in the first half,
the Bruins rallied.
Revived by Farmar's scoring, they used a 21-7 run to close
within six points with 8:01 remaining. He scored nine points -- on a
3-pointer, two free throws, a reverse layup and a driving layup --
and Collison added eight points to ignite the crowd.
The Mountaineers went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal
until Gansey hit his third 3-pointer of the game to end the drought
"We knew we weren't going to beat them by 20," he said.
"They're a tremendous team on their home floor. We were just
fortunate to come out with a big lead at halftime."
Afflalo made his first field goal of the game, Farmar hit two
free throws and Hollins scored on Gansey's goaltending call to get
to 59-54 with 4:09 remaining.
Farmar missed a long jumper, but Hollins dunked to get UCLA to
59-56 with 2:26 left. But the Bruins came up empty on Afflalo's and
Farmar's 3-point attempts.
West Virginia mixed up its defense, using a 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones
and man-to-man to confuse the Bruins, who staggered through a
sequence of misses and turnovers.
"They keep you so spaced out," Afflalo said. "It gives them
so much room to work and everyone can shoot from 27-feet out.
That's not common."
The Bruins started the game with a 9-5 lead, then got outscored
25-7 to trail 30-16. Patrick Beilein and Gansey had eight points
each in the spurt.
The Mountaineers kept it up, closing the half on a 9-3 run to
lead 39-22. They shot 57 percent from the floor to UCLA's six field
goals -- or 26 percent.
West Virginia leads the series 2-1. The Mountaineers won the
first meeting in 1959 -- led by Jerry West's 30 points and 16
rebounds. The Hall of Famer and Memphis Grizzlies president was at
Pauley Pavilion on Saturday.
John Wooden coached the Bruins in that loss, and was at the helm
in 1968 when they beat West Virginia behind Lew Alcindor's 19
points and 10 rebounds. Wooden, 95, sat in his usual spot behind
UCLA's bench Saturday.
There was a moment of silence for the 14 West Virginia miners
killed on the job since Jan. 2. The bodies of two miners were found
Saturday after a fire had trapped them inside a mine.
"We've had a rough time," Beilein said. "I know we made a lot
of people happy with what's been a very tough January for our
Guard Naz Mitrou-Long, whose 2015-16 season ended in December due to hip problems, has been granted a hardship waiver for the coming season, Iowa State said.
As the Sooners look to life without superstar Buddy Hield and his sidekicks, it's clear their unseasoned players will need to grow up fast.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association says it won't move its headquarters, its basketball tournament or other conference championships from North Carolina, despite