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Bruins Win in Shootout Over Dons

College basketball: Defeat of San Francisco sets up a showdown against No. 5 Maryland.

November 27, 1998| From Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — UCLA has 12 freshmen and sophomores on its roster, and the 10th-ranked Bruins looked every bit their age for most of Thursday night's game against San Francisco.

Matt Barnes then made four free throws over the final 3:15 and No, 10 UCLA held off the Dons, 69-62, in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Shootout.

"This was a gut-check victory. They were challenged and they responded," UCLA Coach Steve Lavin said. "That's what I'm pleased with, and now in less than 24 hours we'll get tested again."

The Bruins (2-0) will play No. 5 Maryland tonight. Maryland defeated American University of Puerto Rico, 82-32.

"If we play the way we did tonight against Maryland," Levin said, "we might get blitzkrieged by 70."

UCLA, which trailed 40-36 at halftime, seemed to take control of the game with a 16-3 run to open the second half. The Bruins couldn't stand the prosperity and committed three turnovers and missed three shots as the Dons (2-1) tied the score, 52-52, on a three-point basket by Gerald Zimmerman with 6:55 to play.

UCLA didn't take the lead for good until Barnes, a 6-foot-7 freshman guard who finished with nine points, made two free throws with 3:15 to play for a 58-57 lead.

Dan Gadzuric, a 6-10 freshman center, scored on a rebound with 2:22 left for a 60-57 lead and then after Derek Christensen missed a three-point attempt for San Francisco, Barnes again made two free throws with 1:57 left. Gadzuric scored down low with 1:10 to play for a 64-57 lead and UCLA secured the victory by making five of eight free throws the rest of the game.

"Barnes is one of those players who does so many things that you take him for granted," Lavin said.

Gadzuric led the Bruins, who finished with a 45-30 rebound advantage, with 12 points, and Earl Watson had 11.

"It was a little bit frustrating with the way they played but we did what we had to do to win," Gadzuric said.

James Lee, Ali Thomas and Russell Hinder each had 12 points for the Dons.

San Francisco, though out-sized, gave UCLA fits with its press, forcing 24 turnovers.

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