Bruins Snooze, Don’t Lose : College basketball: In another wake-up call, Edney’s 13 free throws help UCLA pull out 79-76 victory over Washington.


What do you call it when you take winning ugly to the next level? UCLA calls it winning gruesome, which is what the Bruins did Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA somehow managed to keep a grip on the basketball just long enough to defeat Washington, 79-76, and narrowly avoid losing to a team that is now 3-16.

For the Bruins, 16-2 and 9-1 in the Pacific 10 Conference, it was not the type of performance you want too many people to know about.


But right now, the message is out. UCLA simply isn’t playing very well with two defeats in its last four games and a slim victory over a 1-9 conference team.

It was left to Tyus Edney to sort it all out.

“This was a wake-up call,” said Edney, who had 22 points, 13 of them at the free-throw line to rescue UCLA.

“Notre Dame was a wake-up call, Cal was a wake-up call,” he said.

It sure seems like UCLA has been getting a lot of wake-up calls lately. They sure should be up and about by now.

“It wasn’t pretty from our standpoint,” Coach Jim Harrick said.

No, it wasn’t. UCLA’s biggest problem was holding on to the ball. When the Bruins had 20 turnovers at Notre Dame, they promised not to do it again. They didn’t. They threw the ball away 23 times against Washington.

Shon Tarver said it was an aberration.

“I don’t think we’re going to come out every game and dribble it off our knees like tonight,” he said.

The Bruins perfected that move against the Huskies, an overachieving team if there ever was one. When Amir Rashad scored with 4:13 left, Washington led, 71-68, and Bruin palms were getting pretty sweaty.


Three Edney free throws tied the score, the last two coming after Rashad had a basket taken away when he committed an offensive foul.

Two more free throws by Ed O’Bannon gave UCLA the lead for good, 73-71, with 2:06 to go. Tarver stole a rebound from Rashad, then scored in the lane as the shot clock expired, 75-71.

That was just about enough points, which was fortunate because UCLA’s vaunted offense produced only four field goals the last 11:34.

Tarver pitched with in 20 points, George Zidek had 16 and Ed O’Bannon 13, enough to offset 21 points from Rashad, as the Huskies drilled a season-high 10 three-pointers.

And as is their custom, the Bruins shot poorly from long-distance--one for seven. Against Cal, Notre Dame and Washington, UCLA is two for 42 from three-point territory.

Things will get better Saturday afternoon against Washington State, won’t they?

“I sure hope so,” Harrick said.

At first, there wasn’t much room for hope. In the first half, the Bruins showed how to commit 15 turnovers, go more than seven minutes without a hoop, get three fouls on a key starter and still finish with a lead.


It wasn’t easy. As Charles O’Bannon watched from the bench because of foul trouble, UCLA fell behind, 29-22, on a three-pointer by Jason Tyrus, who was so wide open he was probably lonesome.

Tarver inspired a 15-2 run in the last 3:20 to close the half, beginning with a muscle drive through the middle that produced his first basket of the game, not that surprising since it was also his first shot.

That run gave the Bruins a 37-31 lead at the break, which they lost in the second half.

“That’s the sign of a good team,” Washington Coach Bob Bender said. “You may not play a perfect game, but you find a way to win.”