WATER POLO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS : Horn Retires After Cal Beats Bruins

TIMES STAFF WRITER

UCLA Coach Bob Horn fired a few salvos Saturday night after the Bruins' 10-8 loss to top-ranked California in a semifinal match of the NCAA water polo finals at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach.

First, Horn surprised a group of reporters at poolside by announcing his retirement.

Then the 28-year veteran searched out two reporters working in a room off the main pool and lambasted match officials Andy Takata and Gary Robinett.

"It was too physical," he said of the game, which saw Cal take an 8-3 halftime lead.

Horn was particularly upset with a second-quarter goal scored by Chris Humbert. Horn thought Humbert pushed off a UCLA player and should have been disciplined. The goal increased Cal's lead to 6-2.

"The only way to stop that is to kick him out of the pool," he said. "In a game that important. . . . It got terribly out of hand all the way."

Cal Coach Steve Heaston agreed that Humbert played a much more physical game than usual. However, he charged that UCLA was more aggressive.

"This is a physical game. You are going to get elbowed and banged around. You just have to suck it up and play," he said.

Of leaving UCLA Horn said: "The golden handshake . . . is catching up with me. . . . The only way I would come back is as a consultant."

Horn has a career record of 486-188-8.

Cal (28-1), which has won eight NCAA titles, plays second-ranked Stanford (26-5), a 9-7 winner over UC Santa Barbara (23-8), for the championship at 7:30 tonight. Stanford has lost all four matches against Cal this year. This is the fifth consecutive time Cal has advanced to the finals.

UCLA (23-8) fell behind the Golden Bears, 5-1, in the first quarter. The fourth-ranked Bruins committed three turnovers and missed three shots in the first five minutes.

Cal got goals from Eric Krumins, Humbert, Pat Nelson, Chris Oeding and Julian Bailey. UCLA's lone score came from Oliver Will with 35 seconds to go.

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