Friday , Mar , 24 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Farmar’s late heroics lead Bruins into Elite Eight

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Jordan Farmar netted 15 points and came up
with a huge steal to set up Luc Richard Mbah a Moute for the game-winning
layup with 9.8 seconds remaining in regulation, as UCLA bested Gonzaga in
a thrilling 73-71 comeback victory in the Oakland Regional semifinals
of the NCAA Tournament.

Arron Afflalo also tallied 15 points for the second-seeded Bruins (30-6), who
overcame a 17-point deficit to win their ninth consecutive game. Mbah a Moute
chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Ryan Hollins had 12 points in
the win.

Adam Morrison had a game-high 24 points for the third-seeded Bulldogs (29-4),
who lost for the first time in 21 games to end the nation’s longest winning
streak. J.P. Batista added 18 points and nine rebounds while Derek Raivio had
12 points in the losing effort.

UCLA will now move on to face top-seeded Memphis in the regional finals on
Saturday.

With Gonzaga leading 71-68, Morrison missed a jumper with 23 seconds left that
would have sealed the game for the Bulldogs. Batista was caught grabbing
Hollins on the rebound, who drained both from the stripe, to set up Farmar’s
heroics.

The sophomore guard pilfered the inbounds pass and found Mbah a Moute
streaking towards the bucket to put UCLA on top, 72-71.

Gonzaga had a chance to win and tried to hurry the ball up the court. The
Bruins pressured beautifully, however, and knocked the ball loose. Mbah a
Moute came up with the steal during the ensuing scramble and managed to get
the ball to Afflalo with 1.9 ticks left.

Afflalo drained 1-of-2 to make the score 73-71.

Batista was able to coral the long inbounds pass and got a decent look but his
shot came up empty as UCLA survived.

After a miserable first half, UCLA slowly climbed back in the game. The
Bruins jumped out of the gates by scoring 11 of the first 15 points of the
final frame to cut the lead to six.

Darren Collison drained a jumper, with a little under 16 minutes left, to cap
the run and make the score 46-40.

But, Morrison answered and stopped the UCLA momentum dead in its tracks by
knocking down a key three to ignite a 9-3 Gonzaga flurry. Morrison also capped
the mini-run with a driving lay-in to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 55-43
lead with under 13 minutes to go.

The two teams then traded buckets for the next several minutes as Gonzaga held
the Bruins at arm’s length. Raivio’s lay-in made the score 66-54 with just
under seven minutes left.

UCLA then embarked its last desperate run. The Bruins scored eight of the
game’s next 11 points to get back within striking distance. Farmar capped the
mini-run with a long three to make it 69-62 with the clock showing 4:55.

After Morrison and Mbah a Moute traded free throws, Mbah a Moute put back a
Farmar miss to draw UCLA to within five, 71-66, with 2:09 remaining.

Farmar then brought the Bruins to within three, 71-68, with a beautiful
teardrop runner with 51 ticks left.

Gonzaga used a stifling defense to dominate the first half. The Bulldogs held
UCLA to a miserable 7-for-27 from the floor in the opening frame. The Bruins
didn’t connect on their first field goal until Afflalo hit a little baby
jumper in the lane to make the score 18-9 with 11:17 left in the opening half.

The Zags continued to dominate and led by as many as 17 points, 37-20, after
Morrison got loose for a lay-in with a little over three minutes remaining
until the break.

Gonzaga took a 42-29 advantage into the intermission. Morrison led the
Bulldogs with 12 points at the half while Farmar had eight for the Bruins.

Game Notes

Gonzaga now has a 12-9 all-time record in the NCAA tourney. UCLA is an
impressive 88-32 in its storied history…The Bruins and Bulldogs have met
just one time previously, with Gonzaga posting a 59-43 victory at UCLA back in
1999…UCLA holds the record for the most NCAA Tournament championships
(11), with its most recent coming in 1995.

GONZAGA UCLA