Bryce Alford almost single-handedly rallies Bruins, but Huskies escape
LOS ANGELES — Andrew Andrews shot-faked Tony Parker into a costly foul with three seconds remaining, putting Andrews on the free throw line. Slowed by three fouls in the first half, the Huskies star hit the go-ahead foul shots that allowed his team to remain tied atop the Pac-12 standings.
The Huskies (14-6, 6-2 Pac-12) survived a furious rally by UCLA's Bryce Alford for an 86-84 victory Thursday night to keep pace with No. 23 Oregon after the Ducks beat 18th-ranked Arizona.
"This is a special, special win for us," said Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar, a former UCLA assistant.
Andrews was on the bench with his fourth foul during Alford's outburst. Romar waited until there was less than five minutes left to bring him back.
"He is so good making shots and knocking free throws down. I felt like if we didn't put him back in we wouldn't be able to stay in the game," Romar said. "We gambled and down the stretch he made the big plays."
Noah Dickerson led six Huskies in double figures with 15 points. Andrews added 12 points and Marquese Chriss also had 12 before fouling out.
"Great team effort," Andrews said. "Noah Dickerson probably played one of his best games of the year and held us down. We came out with a win but if we want to stay at the top, we have to figure out how to play all 40 minutes. We have to figure out how to pull it all together."
Alford scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the final 5 minutes, rallying UCLA from an 18-point, second-half deficit to an 82-79 lead. After the Huskies went up 84-82 on a 3-pointer by Donaven Dorsey and two free throws by Andrews, Alford hit a jumper for another tie at 84-all.
"It's just hard when you play so poorly for 20 minutes and you suddenly figure it out," Alford said. "We all gave our all in the second 20 minutes."
Parker ended up fouling Andrews before teammate Isaac Hamilton's jumper bounced off the rim as time expired.
"Tony did a good job of keeping Andrews in front," Alford said. "With three seconds left, the dude is probably going to shoot it."
Hamilton added 17 points and Parker had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bruins (12-9, 3-5 Pac-12), who lost their second straight and got booed by the crowd of 6,843 when they trailed by 19 in the first half after shooting 33 percent.
"We were stagnant and nobody was talking," Alford said. "They punched us in the mouth and we didn't react the way we were supposed to react."
The Huskies shot 51 percent in the first half when they led 51-33 at the break. They hit six 3-pointers, using the long-range baskets to go on runs of 10-0 and 8-0.
Parker's early struggles epitomized the Bruins' problems in the first half. He missed his first four shots and made just 1 of 6 free throws. Big man Thomas Welsh was ineffective, too. He had just two points and three rebounds in the half and fouled out in the second, along with Aaron Holiday, who finished with 11 points and five of UCLA's 15 turnovers.
David Crisp and Matisse Thybulle had 12 points apiece for the Huskies.
Washington: Malik Dime had 10 rebounds. ... Dime, Chriss and Thybulle fouled out. .. The Huskies completed a sweep of the Bruins, having won 96-93 in double OT earlier this month. Andrews scored 35 points in that game.
UCLA: G/F Jonah Bolden had 11 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive glass. ... Parker has scored 1,009 points in his four-year career. ... L.A. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who graduated from high school in Seattle, attended. ... Former Bruins coach Steve Lavin, who endured some humiliating losses at Pauley Pavilion, was a TV analyst for the game.
The Bruins have been wildly inconsistent this season, losing their opener in overtime against Monmouth before beating three ranked teams, including then-No. 1 Kentucky.
"That's on me," coach Steve Alford said. "We got to be able to get players to play 40 minutes."
Alford liked his team's three days' of preparation going into the game, but then they didn't show up in the first half.
"This team might be a little bit more challenging in that area," he said.
Washington: Visits Southern California on Saturday.
UCLA: Hosts Washington State on Saturday.