University of Washington

Lowly Beavers rise to stymie Huskies

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State held off Washington by turning their biggest weakness into a strength.

Down the stretch, the Beavers made their free throws - 22 of 28 in the final 2:29.

Josh Tarver had 16 points and seven assists to lead Oregon State, which entered Thursday's game shooting just 60 percent from the line this season, to the 73-65 win.

Marcel Jones added 15 points and Wesley Washington 14 for the Beavers (11-18, 3-13 Pac-10), whose previous conference wins had come against Arizona State.

Spencer Hawes had 22 points for the Huskies (16-11, 6-9), whose NCAA Tournament hopes are dim after three straight losses. Jon Brockman added 14 points and 14 rebounds and Quincy Pondexter had 13 points.

The Huskies, who entered the game second in the conference in scoring, behind Arizona, missed their season average by 13 points.

Visibly upset coach Lorenzo Romar paused and looked at the floor repeatedly as he tried to convey his frustration with Washington's performance.

"As much as it has been talked about ... as much as it has been emphasized, I don't know how we can come out and really not be focused at a high level as a group," he said. "It's a very, very, disappointing loss."

The Beavers entered the game two losses away from becoming the first Oregon State squad to lose 20 games since 2000-01. The Beavers had 14 steals, with four apiece from Tarver and Washington, and shot 42 free throws. They made 27 of those, just over 63 percent. But when it mattered, they went in. The Beavers hit 77 percent from line in the second half.

Washington was down 51-41 when it began what Oregon State coach Jay John called it's "hack-a-Shaq" strategy.

It seemed the right move given the Beavers' history from the line - they are dead last in the conference in free throws, making just 56.7 percent in Pac-10 games.

"Our guys just stepped up and knocked them down," Jones said. "We're too old to be nervous. You just have to be able to knock them down."

No. 4 UCLA 85, California 75

At Los Angeles, Josh Shipp scored 22 points and Lorenzo Mata added 14 to lead a second-half comeback in UCLA's victory over California that extended the fourth-ranked Bruins' home winning streak to 19 games.

UCLA (24-3, 13-2 Pac-10) completed a season sweep of the Golden Bears (14-13, 6-9), who had won their two previous games at Pauley Pavilion and dominated the first half.

Freshman Ryan Anderson led the Bears with 21 points and Omar Wilkes was among three players with 10 each.

Cal led nearly the entire first half, opening with a 14-4 run for its largest lead. The Bears shot 72 percent from the field during that stretch.

The Bruins got back into the game on a 19-9 run, capped by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's four straight points that gave UCLA its first lead of the game. The teams traded baskets before the halftime buzzer, when UCLA led 35-34.

USC 69, Stanford 65

At Los Angeles, Nick Young scored 22 points and Lodrick Stewart had 17 as Southern California beat Stanford to take sole possession of third place in the Pac-10 with its 20th win of the season.

The Trojans (20-8, 10-5) bounced back from a Sunday loss to last-place Arizona State and avenged its worst defeat of the season to Stanford last month.

After being dominated under the basket in the last meeting by Stanford's 7-foot Lopez twins in a 65-50 loss, USC won with drives and perimeter shooting from its smaller players.

Stewart went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and fellow guard Gabe Pruitt added 16 points and eight assists.

The teams came into the night tied for third in the Pac-10 and each was looking to present a case for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

USC made by far the stronger case. The Trojans led for all but three minutes and kept the lead in double digits for much of the second half. They led by as many as 13.

Brook Lopez, coming off a career-high 26 points in Sunday's win over Oregon, had 23 points and eight rebounds for Stanford (17-9, 9-6). Lawrence Hill added 21 points and eight boards.

The Cardinal managed a late rally when Hill made three free throws and Lopez made a layup to pull within four, 63-59 with 2:30 to play.

Twice the Trojans failed to make the front end of a one-and-one in the final two minutes, but pulled down the rebound both times.

Hill made two more free throws to make it 64-61, but Young went 4-for-4 from the line in the final minute to put the game away.

USC improved to 15-3 in the debut season of its new Galen Center arena. The Trojans play one more home game against California on Saturday before closing the season at Washington and No. 9 Washington State. They are three games behind first-place UCLA in the Pac-10.

The Cardinal have lost four of seven and now have to face the fourth-ranked Bruins on Saturday.

USC opened the second-half with a 7-2 run capped by a 3-pointer from Pruitt to take an 11-point lead 41-30 with 18:15 to play.

A pair of jumpers from Brook Lopez and a reverse layup from brother Robin pulled the Cardinal within three, 43-40, but Stanford would get no closer.

Stewart again took the lead to 11 with a 3-pointer with 8:11 to play, the 216th of his college career. That put him two short of Brandon Granville on USC's career 3-pointers list.

Young scored 9 of the Trojans' first 15 points including a reverse layup in under-the-basket traffic tossed from his waistline as USC opened with a 15-8 lead.

Stanford went on a 9-4 run and pulled within two, 19-17, but USC answered with an 11-3 run that included eight points and two 3s from Stewart.

Young hit a fallaway jumper in the half's final seconds to give the Trojans a 34-26 halftime lead. Young had 11 first-half points.