Bruins down Cougars
LOS ANGELES — Darren Collison scored 15 points and No. 15 UCLA beat Washington State 64-53 Thursday night in the Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals for its fifth consecutive victory.
The Bruins (25-7) advanced to Friday’s semifinals against crosstown rival Southern California, a 79-75 winner over California. The second-seeded Bruins swept the sixth-seeded Trojans (19-12) in the regular season.
Aron Baynes was the only player in double figures with 22 points for the Cougars (17-15), who shot 30 percent from the floor. The big Aussie was limited to six rebounds.
Washington State used a 13-4 run over the end of the first half and start of the second to close to 33-24, capped by Taylor Rochestie’s 3-pointer, his only field goal of the game.
The Cougars didn’t get within single digits again until the final minute.
Rochestie was 1-for-11 for eight points, and freshman Klay Thompson was 2-of-11 for five points.
UCLA scored seven in a row, hitting five of six free throws, to go up 40-24. The Cougars answered with six consecutive points, but still trailed 40-30.
Four straight free throws by Collison and Alfred Aboya pushed UCLA’s lead to 51-32 with 7:57 remaining, giving coach Ben Howland a chance to rest his starters until reinserting all of them late. Nikola Dragovic added 12 points, and Josh Shipp and freshman Jrue Holiday had 10 points each.
The Cougars struggled offensively in the first half, hitting just 7-of-34 from the floor while the Bruins shot 41 percent and led 33-21.
Baynes scored Washington State’s first five points to put the Cougars ahead by one — their only lead — before the Bruins went on a 22-5 run to take a 28-10 lead. Shipp scored eight points, hitting two 3-pointers, and Collison added four.
Washington State led all the way in beating Oregon 62-40 in a first-round game Wednesday night, while the well-rested Bruins had been practicing since beating the Ducks in their regular-season finale last Saturday.
The Bruins and Cougars split their regular season meetings, with the two games decided by a total of three points. This one was a blowout until the closing minutes.
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