While the sellout crowd of 6,578 in Harmon Arena taunted UCLA forward Trevor Wilson with its familiar sing-song chant of "Tre-vor, Tre-vor, Tre-vor," a couple of other big Bruins, namely Kevin Walker and Don MacLean, set about the business of helping Wilson shut them up.
MacLean scored 27 points and had nine rebounds. Walker scored 21 points, made five of six shots from three-point range and held California star Leonard Taylor to 22 before Taylor fouled out. Wilson had 17 points and 12 rebounds while, at times, being called upon to play guard.
It all added to an 81-73 victory for UCLA Thursday night, a victory that gave UCLA a 19-7 record going into its final regular-season game against Arizona Saturday.
The Bruins would love to reach the 20-victory plateau. But they were thrilled with No. 19 because that probably means they will gain a berth in the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. tournament.
"I would like to think that we have taken the decision out of the committee's hands now," UCLA Coach Jim Harrick said. "I hope it's a lock."
The Bruins had a lock on the game with five minutes left when Wilson scored inside to give the Bruins a 72-58 lead. But there were a lot of fouls called over the final minutes as the Golden Bears kept scrapping, and the Bruins missed the front end of a string of free throws.
Yet, as Wilson pointed out, "They made a couple of runs at us, but we always seemed to come up with a big play when we needed it."
Once again, Walker got the Bruins off to a great start with his three-point shooting--four for four in the first half. That forced Cal out of its zone.
"After Walker shot 'em out of the zone, and we made them play us man-to-man, we're almost impossible to defense man-to-man at the forward spots," Harrick said.
"Walker just played a tremendous game for us. He played the total, consummate team game, He sacrificed himself to play defense on Leonard, and he's a great player. We did as good a job as we could playing him. And Walker still managed to get his points."
Also, when guard Darrick Martin started to struggle and Harrick found his bench a little short on guards with the absence of the injured Kevin Williams, Wilson did a good job of switching positions.
"Putting Wilson at guard confused them a little," Harrick said. "I think that caused them some matchup problems. They didn't have anyone to stop him."
Sending backup forward Charles Rochelin in for Martin put Pooh Richardson at guard alongside Wilson.
"They tried to box and chase Walker," Harrick said. "But then Trevor hits or MacLean hits. And Walker was willing to pass the ball."
Walker had four assists.
Cal never led, but the Golden Bears did manage to pull into a tie early and cut the Bruins' lead from six points to one point midway through the first half. In the second half, the Golden Bears made a couple of runs to get within striking distance before UCLA scored seven straight points to take a 60-50 lead.
Freshman Don MacLean played the entire game and did not seem to be bothered by the sprained arch in the top of his left foot. His 27 points were a conference high for him. The only game in which he scored more (41) was against North Texas. . . . UCLA has won nine of 11 . . . Pooh Richardson went zero for three from the free-throw line, all misses on the front end of one-and-ones. Darrick Martin was zero for six from the field. . . . Cal, 18-11 overall and 9-8 in the conference, has one game left, against USC Saturday, but will finish in fifth place in the Pac-10 season standings.