UCLA Rallies To Stun Cal In OT

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Michael Roll picked up a loose ball and scored from 13 feet out with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime, lifting UCLA to a 76-75 win over California on Wednesday night.

Jamal Boykin, who had given the Bears a 75-74 lead with a 15-foot jumper that banked in with 21 seconds left, tipped away a pass from the Bruins' Jerime Anderson. But Roll grabbed it and made his game-winning shot.

Roll finished with 19 points and six assists, Nikola Dragovic added 18 points and Reeves Nelson had 15 points for UCLA (7-8, 2-1 Pac-10), which won its six straight game at Berkeley.

Theo Robertson matched his career high with 24 points and had seven rebounds while Patrick Christopher added 14 points and nine rebounds for California (9-5, 1-1), which was coming off an impressive 26-point win over Stanford.

Roll repeatedly made key 3-pointers for the Bruins in the second half, but it was his alert play with the clock winding down that lifted UCLA to the win.

The victory capped a furious comeback for coach Ben Howland's team, which trailed 42-30 early in the second half before rallying. The Bruins, who haven't lost at Haas Pavilion since Jan. 24, 2004, in Howland's first season, also served notice that they still need to be considered a contender for the Pac-10 title.

The Bruins won the title three straight seasons from 2006-08 and were picked third this season behind No. 24 Washington and Cal in a preseason poll of the conference coaches.

That thinking might be changing now.

Coming off a 77-63 loss to Arizona on Jan. 2, UCLA struggled offensively against Cal through the first half and didn't get going until midway through the second half.

The Bears couldn't sustain their momentum and struggled with leading scorer Jerome Randle mired in a 5-for-16 slump. Randle finished with 11 points, four in overtime.

Both teams missed chances to win in regulation. The Bruins had the ball with 38 seconds left after Robertson's short jumper had tied the score 65-65 and were looking for the last shot before Christopher stole the ball from Nelson under UCLA's basket. But Christopher's desperate 3-pointer at the buzzer glanced off the front of the rim, setting up the frantic finish.

Cal was playing without sophomore guard Jorge Gutierrez, who injured his knee in the conference-opening win over Stanford. Gutierrez, who is expected to be sidelined at least a week, has been coach Mike Montgomery's best defender all season coming off the bench and was second on the team in assists behind Randle before getting hurt.

It didn't seem to matter much early.

The Bruins missed six of their first seven 3-pointers and made only one shot during a seven-minute stretch while the Bears varied their defensive looks. Randle, Christopher and Robertson took turns defending Malcolm Lee, UCLA's leading scorer, who was scoreless in the first half when he went 0-for-6 from the floor.

Christopher had 12 points and six rebounds in the first half to lead Cal to a 34-26 lead at the break. Christopher repeatedly found huge gaps in UCLA's zone defense and twice scored off his own missed jump shots.

Lee, who didn't score until 17:44 remained in the game, had a rough night all around. He finished with six points and was 1 of 7 from the floor before leaving late in overtime after cramping up.

UCLA finally broke out of its offensive slump and made its best run midway through the second half.

Dragovic, who had five points in the first half, and Roll each made three 3-pointers as part of a 17-10 run by the Bruins. Nelson later made a pair of free throws to give UCLA a 56-54 lead with 6:44 left to play.


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