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No. 11 UCLA rallies to top Washington State 67-66 on Palouse

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 20 points, Adem Bona made the winning basket with 19 seconds left and the UCLA No. 11 overcame a 12-point deficit in the first half to take Washington State by 67 on Friday night: 66 to beat .

The Bruins (11-2, 3-0 Pac-12) won their ninth straight win thanks to a great save in the last 10 minutes when the Cougars (5-9, 0-3) shot cold and UCLA had the chance conceded rally.

“It means a lot. It just shows the strength of this team and how far we’ve come,” Jaquez said. “We could have easily folded, but we didn’t. We chose to persevere, play defense and work and do whatever it takes to get back in this game.

Trailing 35-23 late in the first half, UCLA was down 7-23 from the close by nine as the Bruins held onto the defensive end and found just enough offense.

UCLA led only 1:28.

“I preach it to these guys all the time, if you don’t defend yourself, you’re not going to win,” said UCLA coach Mick Cronin. “If you win on offense, you’re going to be a .500 team. So the guys showed a lot of courage and tenacity.”

Jaquez scored 16 points in the second half and was 10-10 at the foul line. Tyger Campbell added 16 points and David Singleton had 14, hitting a 1:43 jumper left that drew the Bruins to 64-63.

DJ Rodman led Washington State with a season-high 19 points and had a good look at a winning 3-pointer in the final seconds, but it hit the rim and UCLA won at the Palouse for just the third time in their last eight trips.

“My eyes lit up because it’s that moment you want, a game winner,” Rodman said. “I mean, I’m not going to smack myself too much about this because there’s a lot more that brings us to this place. We shouldn’t have put anyone down at that moment.”

Mouhamed Gueye hit free throws with a 1:14 lead to put the Cougars 66:63 ahead. But Jaquez hit a pair from the foul line to draw the Bruins to one, and after a Washington state turnover, Bona’s layup attempt was blocked by Gueye and gave UCLA the lead. It was the Bruins’ first lead since the 5-3.

Gueye finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds. The Cougars tried to find their big center on final possession, but he was swarmed and Rodman’s jumper from the corner was the only look Washington State got.

“There are just basic plays that you have to master if you want to beat a good team,” said Kyle Smith, Washington State coach. “And to their credit they made the games and we have to keep fighting.”

Washington State all-time leader TJ Bamba was held to five points in 2-of-9 shooting. The Cougars missed 11 of their last 12 shots and didn’t have a field goal after Justin Powell’s 3-pointer with 7:23 left.


UCLA: The Bruins played without starting scout Amari Bailey because of a sore left foot. Bailey traveled with the team but did not match. Bona started in Bailey’s place and finished with seven points. … UCLA beat the Cougars 21-10 at the foul line and hit 21 of 22 free throw attempts.

Washington State: The Cougars lost five of six and seven of nine in December. Five of those losses were nine points or less.


UCLA: Sunday in Washington.

Washington State: hosts Southern California on Sunday.


AP College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25


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