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MARCH MADNESS / NCAA TOURNAMENT | UCLA GAME REPORT

Ucla 29 Hofstra 33

Charting The Lead: A Look at the Bruins' Lead or Deficit by The Minute

March 16, 2001|ERIC STEPHENS | Times Staff Writer

What Happened: UCLA guard Earl Watson took charge from the outset and was brilliant throughout, making all six of his shots and dishing out five assists. Hofstra tried running with the Bruins but Coach Jay Wright soon realized it would be a losing battle and switched to a more deliberate attack. The pace favored the Pride and the threesome of Norman Richardson, Rick Apodaca and Jason Hernandez torched the net in combining for all but two of Hofstra's points. Center Dan Gadzuric was effective early, but forwards Jason Kapono and Matt Barnes were virtually invisible for the Bruins.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: With UCLA ahead, 21-14, Coach Steve Lavin switched from a man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone. The move backfired as Hofstra's already-hot three-point shooters got better looks at the basket. Lavin's substitution pattern of Ryan Bailey, Ray Young and T.J. Cummings provided no help for the Bruins. As the shots kept falling for Hofstra, the louder the pro-Pride crowd got.

Winning Number: 50. Hofstra's three-point shooting percentage (seven of 14) conjured up those disturbing memories of Detroit Mercy, Princeton, Tulsa, etc.

Wrong Number: 4. Kapono took only four shots, making his first and only basket on a 15-foot jumper with two seconds remaining for the four-point deficit. The Bruins also attempted just two free throws with Watson missing both.

Leading Scorers: UCLA--Watson 13. Hofstra--Apodaca 11.

Leading Rebounders: UCLA--Gadzuric 3. Hofstra--Gittens 5.

HOFSTRA 48 UCLA 61

What Happened: After 2 1/2 games of lax defense, UCLA turned it up several notches and began to challenge Hofstra's shooters. The Pride committed seven turnovers in the first five minutes and wilted under the press. After Hofstra's 6-foot-9 center Greg Springfield picked up his fourth foul with 8:56 left, the Pride no long had an inside presence and UCLA began to take control with Barnes scoring on consecutive moves to the basket. The Bruins could finally rest easy and wave goodbye to Hofstra's nation-longest 18-game winning streak.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: In UCLA's run, Watson made a steal and called a timeout while he was about to fall over the press-row table. Apodaca didn't get the free reign he had in the first half as Knight made it tough for him to get the ball and either Barnes or Gadzuric flew out at the sophomore when he did get a shot off. Hofstra's guards began to breathe heavily and pull down on their shorts after being chased around. The Bruins also showed something offensively other than Watson. Despite being shut down all game, Kapono drew a Hofstra defender and set up Knight for an open three-pointer with 3:43 remaining, which the guard made to give the Bruins an insurmountable seven-point lead.

Winning Number: Five. UCLA held the Pride to that point total over the final 12:59 while scoring 24 of its own. The Bruins also had a 34-8 scoring advantage in the paint.

Wrong Numbers: Hofstra had no field goals over the final 9:12, four in all and committed 11 turnovers.

Leading Scorers: UCLA--Knight 11. Hofstra--Gittens 7.

Leading Rebounders: UCLA--Gadzuric 10. Hofstra--Gittens 3.

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