With less than five minutes remaining Sunday afternoon, Oregon had UCLA's 10th-ranked women's basketball team on the verge of losing its first Pacific 10 Conference game of the season.
Oregon freshman Shaquala Williams's free throw after a technical foul on the UCLA bench had given the Ducks a seven-point lead and the Bruins needed a spark from someone other than All-American forward Maylana Martin, who had missed most of the second half because of foul trouble.
They got just that from Erica Gomez, Janae Hubbard, LaCresha Flannigan and Michelle Greco, who helped spark a 16-5 UCLA run as the Bruins handed Oregon its first Pac-10 loss with a 76-72 victory at Pauley Pavilion.
"I think the technical [was the turning point]," said Martin, who scored only four of her 15 points in the second half. "We viewed it differently and didn't let it get to us. We didn't focus on the refs."
Instead, UCLA, 4-0 in the Pac-10 and 12-4 overall, made enough hustle plays to get back into the game. Gomez and Flannigan each came up with a key steal and basket. Greco had a timely rebound and assist. Hubbard blocked a late Oregon shot and dove on the floor for an important loose ball.
"We never say die," said Hubbard, who finished with a team-high 16 points and 11 rebounds. "We always feel that we can come back."
UCLA, which led the entire first half, found itself in trouble when Martin picked up her fourth foul with 16:18 remaining in the game. Oregon (3-1, 12-3) led, 67-60, with 4:44 left before the Bruins rallied. UCLA regained its lead at 70-69 on free throws by Flannigan, who scored six of her 12 points in the Bruins' final run.
"We stopped playing to win in the last two minutes," said Oregon Coach Jody Runge, whose team played without starting point guard Lisa Bowyer, sidelined because of a broken finger. "We started playing not to lose."