Sunday, January 12, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Bruins Snap 'Cat Streak -- Martin Shoots Down 71-Game Win String

Times News Services

TUCSON, Ariz. - It was over in an instant.

But the 40 intense minutes leading to Darrick Martin's last-second, game-winning shot for UCLA were basketball heaven.

"We were going back and forth and I was like, `God, I love this game,' " UCLA guard Gerald Madkins said after the No. 2-ranked Bruins edged No. 6 Arizona 89-87 yesterday.

The defeat ended the nation's longest current home-court winning streak, 71 games at Arizona's McKale Center. The all-time NCAA record is 129 straight wins at home, set by Kentucky from 1943-55. Arizona hadn't lost at home since March 13, 1987, when the Wildcats lost a first-round NCAA playoff game in overtime to Texas-El Paso.

"They take a lot of pride in that (streak), so it'll be one that we'll remember," said UCLA forward Don MacLean, who scored 38 points.

After 26 lead changes and 14 ties, the outcome rested on a shot by an unlikely hero, Bruin guard Darrick Martin.

Stripped of his starting role at the beginning of the season and admonished by coaches to be everything but a scorer, Martin hit a tough 15-foot jumper from the left wing with one second left.

"It was a play for me to create an open shot for Tracy (Murray) or Don or myself," Martin said.

The Bruins had blown an 81-74 lead with 5:49 left. Arizona tied it at 87 with 20.9 seconds remaining on Wayne Womack's fadeaway jumper.

UCLA called a timeout with 10.9 seconds left and got the ball to Martin. The left-handed senior guard drove to the left of the key and made his winning shot. Martin finished with 10 points, including a basket that put UCLA ahead 85-81 with 1:59 left.

The victory improved UCLA's record to 10-0, dropped the Wildcats to 10-2 - and sent a message.

"I think UCLA is for real," Martin said. "We're not just a bunch of Hollywood kids who love to run and dunk and do all that fancy stuff. We can play physical and we do enjoy playing defense."

"The law of averages caught up with them," UCLA Coach Jim Harrick said. "We're a little bit better, stronger, and more mature than in the past," he said.

Arizona Coach Lute Olson said once his team gets over "the initial shock of the streak coming to an end, they'll recognize we need to be focused on 18 games, not one game.

"It's a big win, a big step forward for UCLA, but it's still a long way to the end of the season," Olson said.

"I guess it was our time to lose at home," Arizona's Matt Othick said. "We dodged the bullet several times before. This time the bullet hit us," he said.

MacLean was almost unstoppable for UCLA. He hit 15 of 23 field-goal attempts, and his three straight jumpers and four free throws put the Bruins ahead for good with 7:59 remaining.

"I was feeling it today," said MacLean. "I had a feeling that if I got the ball on the wing and any of their guys were sticking (to) me, I'd score."

OREGON STATE 77, CALIFORNIA 65 -- CORVALLIS, Ore. - Kevin Harris hit a key three-point basket and Charles McKinney scored four consecutive free throws as the Beavers held off the Bears.

The Beavers got their first victory without Chad Scott, their leading scorer and rebounder, who has flunked out of school and likely won't be readmitted.

Oregon State led 42-22 at halftime, thanks to 17 first-half turnovers by Cal.

Former Garfield High standout Bill Elleby had 17 points for Cal.

STANFORD 78, OREGON 57 -- EUGENE, Ore. - Brent Williams scored a career-high 22 points and Stanford used torrid second-half shooting to pull away.

Adam Keefe added 17 points and 22 rebounds as the Cardinal completed a sweep of the Oregon schools.

Peter Dukes, who played at Roosevelt High, and Williams, who played at Tacoma's Curtis High, keyed a 15-2 second-half run that put the Cardinal in control. Dukes hit three straight three-point shots and Williams scored four points during the run.


Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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