UCLA blew a 17-point second-half lead, then scored the game’s final seven points to defeat Oregon State, 62-57, on Thursday night in Corvallis, Ore.
Lazeric Jones and Reeves Nelson had 13 points each for the Bruins (10-6 overall, 2-2 Pacific-10 Conference), which led 47-30 after Nelson’s basket with 15:57 remaining.
Roberto Nelson had 13 points off the bench for Oregon State (7-9, 2-3). His 3-pointer gave the Beavers their only lead, 57-55, with 2:44 to play.
Freshman Joshua Smith, out of Kentwood High School, tied the score with two free throws, and Jones hit the go-ahead basket for UCLA with 39 seconds left.
Oregon State’s Calvin Haynes missed a close shot, and Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He made both free throws with 16 seconds left to put the Bruins ahead 61-57.
UCLA shot 23-of-47 from the field; Oregon State 20-of-62.
The Beavers, whose 10.9 steals per game entering Thursday ranked second in the nation, finished with 15.
Reeves Nelson followed Tyler Honeycutt’s 3-pointer with a three-point play as the Bruins built a 43-26 cushion. Kevin McShane’s basket with 11:58 remaining capped a 10-2 Oregon State run that cut UCLA’s lead to 49-40.
After a Reeves Nelson layup, OSU reeled off 11 points, with Joe Burton’s basket off a Cunningham pass finishing the run, making it 51-51 with 6:22 remaining.
At No. 10 UCLA 58, Oregon State 46: Darxia Morris scored 16 points and the Bruins (14-1, 4-0) took command with an 11-0 run to start the second half to beat the Beavers (7-9, 0-5) for their fourth straight victory. UCLA is off to its best start since the 1976-77 team opened 18-1.
At USC 79, Oregon 76: Briana Gilbreath scored a game-high 26 points – 20 in the second half as the Bruins erased a seven-point deficit with 9 minutes left to beat the Ducks. Nia Jackson, who scored 25, made a jumper to put Oregon up 58-51 with 9:07 left. But Gilbreath scored 13 as UCLA ended on a 28-18 run.
The Pac-10 has reprimanded UCLA center Joshua Smith for his critical comments about the officiating during last weekend’s 63-52 loss to Southern California. Smith later publicly apologized for his comments.