Washington fell to UCLA tonight creating a four way tie for first place in the Pac 10 with two weekends remaining for conference play. Washington needs to pick up a win at USC to stay on top of the conference. Even with the loss the Huskies are the favorites with three of our games left on their home court.
It is tough to play at Pauley Pavilion and come out with a win and the Bruins played with a greater purpose tonight with conference championship elimination on the line. Give credit to the Bruins because they made the least mistakes tonight and had the officials on their sides most of the night.
Josh Shipp scored 20 points and No. 20 UCLA held off 22nd-ranked Washington 85-76 Thursday night to move into a second-place tie in the Pac-10, a half-game behind the first-place Huskies.
Darren Collison added 17 points,Nikola Dragovic 15, and Alfred Aboya had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bruins, who kept alive their bid for a fourth consecutive league title.
Washington's Justin Dentmon scored 22 points and Jon Brockman had 16 points and 14 rebounds for his 55th career double-double, most among college basketball's active players. Isaiah Thomas and Quincey Pondexter added 12 points each.
The Bruins (20-6, 9-4 Pac-10) were coming off back-to-back road losses last week in Arizona, and wanted to avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2005, when they were beaten by Arizona, Stanford and California in coach Ben Howland's second season.
They did that, and in the process notched their 45th 20-win season in school history.
The Huskies (19-7, 10-4) trailed virtually the entire game at Pauley Pavilion, where they fell to 1-22 since the 1986-87 season. Their three-game winning streak ended, too.
The Huskies, who got to the line 43 times in their 86-75 victory over UCLA on Jan. 24, hit four of 10 free throws this time, while UCLA was 15-of-18.
Washington got within two points with 3:45 remaining on a basket by Pondexter. But the Bruins outscored the Huskies 12-7, including six in a row, to end the game.
Brockman scored Washington's first four points of the second half, including its first free throws of the game, before Shipp hit a 3-pointer for UCLA's first double-digit lead, 41-31.
From there, the Huskies kept chipping away at their deficit and forced a tie at 55 on consecutive baskets by Pondexter with 11:26 remaining. They were helped by mistakes from UCLA freshman Jerime Anderson. Venoy Overtron stole the ball from Anderson at midcourt and scored, then Anderson missed an easy layup at UCLA's end before Pondexter's tying basket.
Collison restored order for the Bruins, launching a 10-3 run in which he scored six points, capped by dribbling through two defenders in the lane to score for a 65-58 lead with 8:28 remaining.
The Bruins repeatedly drove the basket instead of settling for perimeter shots like they did on the Arizona trip. Collison stepped out to connect on a 3-pointer and Michael Roll hit one of two free throws that pushed UCLA's lead to nine points, its largest since early in the second half.
The Bruins twice led by nine in the first half. The Huskies closed within two before UCLA outscored them 9-4 to lead 34-27 going into the break. Shipp scored seven of those points, and Aboya's fastbreak dunk drew oohs from the crowd.