Bruins Stage a Huge Rally for an Even Bigger Victory : UCLA: Edney’s free throws with two seconds left cap comeback from 23-point deficit in important win over over Washington State.
The UCLA Bruins stole one Thursday night. They won a game when all seemed lost, when their hopes of earning an NCAA tournament berth were about to evaporate in the rafters of Pauley Pavilion.
They won when perhaps Coach Jim Harrick’s UCLA tenure was in the balance.
UCLA defeated Washington State, 71-70, as Tyus Edney made two free throws in a one-and-one situation with two seconds left in one of the season’s most exciting--and strangest--games.
The Bruins (19-9, 9-6 in Pacific 10 Conference) trailed by as many as 23 points in the first half. Then, those other Bruins appeared for the second half, and UCLA ended a two-game losing streak before 8,231.
“Tyus Edney had a monster game,” Harrick said. “Without him, I don’t know what we’d do.”
Edney, a 5-foot-9 point guard, made all 10 free throws, and had 18 points, seven assists and three rebounds.
Of the game-winning fouls shots, Edney said: “I just shot them like I normally do.”
Edney and UCLA were lucky to have the opportunity. Trailing by three with 27 seconds left, Washington State (14-11, 8-8) had freshman standout Mark Hendrickson shooting a one-and-one.
Hendrickson, who had made both his free throws before this one, bounced the ball four times, and then shot. The ball bounced out of the net, hit the right side three times and Ed O’Bannon got the rebound for UCLA.
Edney brought the ball up court and tried to pass to Shon Tarver when he was fouled by Tony Harris with 18 seconds left. Edney made both shots to make the score 70-69.
But Washington State still had the lead and the ball.
As UCLA pressed, Eddie Hill, a solid ballhandler, threw a long pass that went off Tommy Oatis’ hands out of bounds.
The Bruins regained possession with 11 seconds left. Edney brought the ball upcourt to set up one last shot. But the Cougars’ defense tightened and Edney had nowhere to pass. As time was running out, he drove to the basket and was tripped by Hendrickson.
His final free throw gave the Bruins the lead for only the third time in the game.
Although trailing at one point, 39-16, and down, 44-27, at halftime, the Bruins did not panic. They realized their season might hang in the balance. Outscoring Washington State, 10-3, the Bruins cut the lead to 10 quickly in the second half.
But Washington State did not fold behind the hot shooting of Bennie Seltzer, who led all scorers with 32 points. Seltzer was 12 of 15 from the field, including six of seven from the three-point range.
“They were just unbelievable in the first half,” Edney said. “We figured they would miss a couple eventually.”
But Seltzer, who had 18 at halftime, kept making his shots. After UCLA took a 55-53 lead with 9:33 left, Seltzer scored seven consecutive points.
“If there was a team that deserved to win, it was the team that lost,” Washington State Coach Kelvin Sampson said after the Cougars fell to 0-36 at Pauley. “The best team did not absolutely win.”
Mitchell Butler, UCLA’s senior captain, disagreed.
“We came out and jumped on them,” he said of the second-half turnaround. “They realized they were in trouble.”
Fred Ferguson, Washington State’s 6-foot-10 center, caught an elbow from George Zidek in the eye in the first half and suffered a slight concussion. Washington State officials said he suffered internal bleeding. . . . UCLA center Richard Petruska left the game after 5 1/2 minutes because of an ankle injury. He went to the locker room to have the ankle taped and returned with 4:19 left in the half. With Petruska out, Zidek played 25 minutes. He had six points and four rebounds and played aggressive defense. “I had to step up with Richard out,” he said. “It gave me confidence.” . . . Shon Tarver scored 17 points and Ed O’Bannon had 16 points and 11 rebounds.