March 11, 2000
LOS ANGELES - Freshman Jason Kapono scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and UCLA overwhelmed Washington State 90-64 Saturday for its sixth straight victory to conclude the regular season.
The Bruins (19-11) finished in a fourth-place tie with Arizona State in the Pac-10 with a 10-8 record. They await word Sunday of an NCAA tournament bid for the 12th consecutive year. <>p>UCLA's 500th victory in Pauley Pavilion (500-58 since the building opened in 1965) avenged a 63-62 loss to the Huskies on Jan. 6. Kapono hit a jumper at the buzzer in that game, but his foot was on the 3-point line and just missed forcing overtime.
This time, the outcome wasn't in doubt beyond the first seven minutes. The Huskies led 15-10 before the Bruins put together two big runs to take a 47-27 halftime lead.
Washington (10-20, 5-13) lost for the 14th consecutive game at Pauley, one of two Pac-10 arenas where coach Bob Bender has never won. Stanford's Maples Pavilion is the other.
Michael Johnson led the Huskies with 11 points and Marlon Shelton added 10 in nine minutes off the bench. Leading scorer Deon Luton had six points and left the game at 12:53 of the second half after going down under UCLA's basket.
JaRon Rush, playing his third game since returning from a three-month NCAA suspension, scored all of his 15 points in the first half, as did Earl Watson, who had 10.
Trailing by five, the Bruins outscored Washington State 35-12 over the final 13:04 of the first half, including runs of 12 and 15 consecutive points. The Huskies went 5:29 without a basket when they were plagued by several of their 26 turnovers.
Kapono hit consecutive 3-pointers early in the second half to put UCLA ahead 57-30. He has 74 3-pointers for the season - the most ever by a freshman - and four short of Tracy Murray's school record of 78 set in 1992.
The Bruins shot 50.6 percent for the game as all 12 players scored. Kapono's accuracy from long-range helped them shoot 50 percent from behind the arc.
Washington State managed just one run in the second half, but their eight straight points didn't come close to making a dent in a 29-point deficit.
The first points by senior Sean Farnham, off an assist under the basket from Kapono who waited for Farnham to catch up, gave UCLA a 31-point lead with 7:01 remaining.
Farnham played his final home game and scored two points. The forward was a walk-on as a freshman who endeared himself to the fans and coaching staff with his hustle and enthusiasm.
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer