Bruins get early exit from Pac-10 tournament
LOS ANGELES &
UCLA's Arron Afflalo has enjoyed a memorable junior season. He'd prefer to forget his latest game.
Afflalo scored only three points, the player he guarded dominated the action, and top-seeded UCLA dropped a 76-69 overtime decision to unheralded California on Thursday in the Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals.
"I planned on coming out here and having a great game and celebrating afterward," Afflalo said quietly. "I don't know what to think right now. This is something I'm not accustomed to.
"It's hard to swallow, that's for sure. The way I played was a majority of the reason why we lost."
Ayinde Ubaka scored eight of his 29 points in overtime to lead Cal to the stunning upset.
"Ubaka was my assignment. What did he get, 29 points? That's unacceptable," Afflalo said. "It was my guy who was going above and beyond. I don't want to make an excuse for it. I'll make the adjustments."
Affalo, the Pac-10 player of the year, had reached double figures in 29 straight games, but shot just 1-of-7 against Cal. In addition, he failed to get a rebound and had only one assist.
"I still believe we are the best team in the country, and we'll have an opportunity to prove that again," he said.
The eighth-seeded Golden Bears (16-16) play fourth-seeded Oregon in Friday night's first semifinal game at Staples Center. The 16th-ranked Ducks (24-7) advanced by beating Arizona 69-50.
Third-seeded Southern California faces second-seeded Washington State in the nightcap. The Trojans (22-11) topped sixth-seeded Stanford 83-79 in overtime and the 11th-ranked Cougars (25-6) topped seventh-seeded Washington 74-64.
California entered the tournament having lost four straight games, but beat Oregon State 70-51 on Wednesday night, and had what it took to beat No. 4 UCLA.
"We have been preaching defense to our guys and that was the big difference today," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "Nobody in the country makes runs like UCLA, and we withstood the barrage, which was pretty big in the second half."
UCLA's second straight defeat dealt a serious blow to its hopes of being a No. — seed in next week's NCAA tournament.
"I don't even care," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "If we don't play better than we're playing right now, anyone in the field of 64 teams will beat us."
The Bears led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but were on their heels most of the second half.
Ubaka made a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 59. Darren Collison drove the lane and scored to put the Bruins in front, but Ubaka's floater with 15 seconds left forced overtime.
With Ubaka leading the way, Cal outscored UCLA 15-8 in the extra period.
Ryan Anderson added 18 points and Eric Vierneisel scored 10 for the Bears. Collison had 20 points and six assists and Josh Shipp added 19 points for the Bruins (26-5), who lost their regular-season finale at Washington.
"Ubaka absolutely dominated the game," Howland said.
Ubaka, a senior guard whose 29 points matched his career high, encouraged his teammates to keep the upset in perspective.
"This is great, but we have another game tomorrow," he said. "Oregon doesn't care that we won this game."
Free-throw shooting was a problem again for the Bruins, who went 15-of-29 from the line while Cal hit 20-of-25.
Oregon 69, Arizona 50
Tajuan Porter and Aaron Brooks burned Arizona with their long-range shooting, combining for nine 3-pointers in Oregon's victory.
Porter, a 5-foot-6 freshman, shot 8-of-12 including 5-of-6 from 3-point range for 21 points. Brooks, the Ducks' leading scorer, had all 16 of his points in the first 13 minutes to help put Oregon ahead for good. He shot 6-of-13, including 4-of-8 from outside the arc.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Wildcats, who have won at least 20 games in 20 consecutive seasons but struggled at times while playing one of the nation's toughest schedules this year. Nevertheless, they're expected to be invited to their 23rd straight NCAA tournament.
Arizona (20-10) was seeded fifth &
its lowest in the 10-year history of the Pac-10 tournament.
"The last four games we've played them have come down to the last 2 minutes," Kent said. "I thought this would be another of those games."
USC 83, Stanford 79, OT
Nick Young scored 26 points, Lodrick Stewart made two of his three baskets in overtime, and the Trojans rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to force overtime. USC never trailed in the extra period.
Gabe Pruitt added 17 points, Taj Gibson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwight Lewis scored 10 for the Trojans, who won their first Pac-10 tournament game since 2004.
Anthony Goods led Stanford (18-12) with 19 points and five assists. Freshman Landry Fields scored a career-high 15 points and Fred Washington added 12 for the Cardinal.
Washington St. 74, Washington 64
Taylor Rochestie scored 11 of his 20 points in the final 61/2 minutes to help Washington State beat its in-state rival for the fifth straight time.
Derrick Low added 15 points, Robbie Cowgill 14 and Kyle Weaver 13 for No. 11 Washington State (25-6), which won just its third Pac-10 tournament game.
Quincy Pondexter scored 15 points and Jon Brockman added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Huskies (19-12).