UCLA gets early jump, keeps stomping Louisville beaten by Bruins, 85-69

March 23, 1992|By Jerry Crowe | Jerry Crowe,Los Angeles Times

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It didn't take long yesterday for UCLA to drain any drama from its 85-69 rout of Louisville in the NCAA West Regional.

The Bruins took command early and never let up, advancing to the NCAA round of 16 for the second time in three years.

"They were in total control from start to finish," Louisville coach Denny Crum said of the top-seeded Bruins, who will play 12th-seeded New Mexico State (25-7) in a West Regional semifinal Thursday night at Albuquerque, N.M. "There was never any question [about the outcome]."

After the victory, the Bruins (27-4) maintained their cool.

"We kind of expected to go this far," UCLA forward Don MacLean said. "Everybody expected us to be in the Sweet 16. I know that, as a team, we've set our goals higher than the Sweet 16.

"Yeah, we're excited about beating Louisville, but we know that we've still got a lot of work ahead of us to reach our goals."

The Bruins already had defeated Louisville (19-11) once this season, winning at Louisville last month, 78-64. That loss equaled the worst of the regular season for the Cardinals, who also lost by 14 to Kentucky.

"They really played well," Crum said of the Bruins, who never led by fewer than four after jumping out to an 11-4 lead. "They're a very talented team, very experienced, and they did exactly what they wanted to do.

"We never really could get into sync. You have to give them credit for that. They didn't let us play the way we like to play."

The worst-shooting team in Crum's 21 seasons as Cardinals coach, Louisville missed 16 of its first 20 shots, and UCLA built a 23-10 lead. The Cardinals clanked on outside shots and layups.

The Cardinals cut their deficit to 37-33 less than three minutes into the second half, but Gerald Madkins then made two free throws to spark a 9-2 run by UCLA and start a Bruins parade to the foul line.

After a four-point play by Madkins capped the run -- fouled by Everick Sullivan as he made a three-point shot, Madkins added a free throw -- UCLA never led by fewer than eight the rest of the way, making 34 of 41 free throws in the second half, 30 of 35 after Madkins' three-point shot.

It was a more impressive showing than the one put forth by the Bruins Friday night, when they defeated outmanned Robert Morris, 73-53.

"When we play a team we're expected to beat by a lot, we play as individuals," said junior swingman Mitchell Butler. "But when we confront a team that we know is going to give us a nice challenge, we play as a team. We realize it's going to take all of us to beat that team."

As usual, the Bruins' leaders were forwards Tracy Murray (26 points, eight rebounds) and Don MacLean (23 points, 10 rebounds).

MacLean's point total placed him ahead of former Arizona forward Sean Elliott as the Pac-10's all-time scoring leader.

"We had a tough time defending them," Crum said of the Bruins' top scorers. "It seemed like whenever they'd get in trouble, they'd throw the ball to MacLean or Murray and they'd score or

get fouled."

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