LOS ANGELES (AP)—Down by 21 points in the first half and its crowd nearly silent, UCLA appeared headed for a blowout loss to a team that for years dwelled at the bottom of the Pac-10.
But the Bruins regained their shooting touch and the noise from 11,970 fans boosted them to a 95-86 upset of 12th-ranked Washington on Saturday night, snapping the Huskies’ nine-game winning streak.
“The crowd gets you moving a little faster,” freshman point guard Jordan Farmar said. “Our crowd was a huge part of it. I like the whole atmosphere. It’s what college basketball is all about.”
UCLA’s Dijon Thompson scored 29 points, equaling his career high set Dec. 18 against Michigan. Brian Morrison scored 19 points off the bench, including eight in the final 3:51 when the game was tied.
“We changed, we stepped up, ran our offense,” Thompson said.
Fans chanted “overrated” in the final 9 seconds of UCLA’s first victory over a ranked team since the Bruins beat No. 18 California in 2003, Steve Lavin’s final season. It was first major victory for second-year coach Ben Howland, who is 19-20 since taking over when Lavin was fired.
“It’s not my win, it’s our win,” Howland said. “I’m excited where we’re going.”
Nate Robinson led the Huskies with 21 points before fouling out with 20 seconds left. Tre Simmons added 19 points.
“We have no one to blame but ourselves in this one,” said Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, who was the top assistant on UCLA’s 1995 national championship team. “We did what we wanted in the first part, but because of fatigue or foul trouble we let up.”
The Huskies (13-2, 3-1 Pac-10) extended their futility at Pauley Pavilion, where they are 2-40 since the building opened in 1965. They haven’t won there since 1987, a stretch of 19 games. They were trying to sweep in Los Angeles for the first time since 1987, after beating Southern California 84-59 Thursday.
“The streak is the last thing we were thinking about,” Robinson said. “The coaches wanted it so bad and it hurts us and them to lose this.”
The Bruins (9-3, 3-1) won their third in a row and staged their second dramatic comeback in three days. They needed two overtimes to beat Washington State 80-77 Thursday. They are 8-0 this season at home.
“We refuse to lose here,” Thompson said.
Neither team led by more than four points over the final eight minutes. Simmons tied the game for the last time at 85-all. Morrison answered with four straight points for an 89-85 lead.
Farmar fouled Robinson with 1:03 to play, but he missed the first free throw. He made the second to pull Washington within three at 89-86.
Farmar missed on the ensuing possession, but freshman Lorenzo Mata grabbed the rebound and scored with 27 seconds to go for a 91-86 lead. Robinson committed his fifth foul against Morrison, who made one of two free throws, then Washington’s Bobby Jones lost the ball through his legs as the final seconds ticked down.
“It seems like they wanted it a little more,” Robinson said. “They played a little harder and usually that’s the team that wins. We were so hungry at the beginning and had a couple of letdowns toward the end of the first half. Then it was like the snowball effect and they started making some big-time shots.”
Washington opened the second half with a 13-9 run, including six points by Simmons, to stretch its lead to 65-51.
But the Bruins rallied with a dominating offensive stretch to tie the game at 72-all with 8:40 remaining. They outscored Washington 21-7, including eight points by Thompson, who tied it with a 3-pointer. The Bruins started the run with 11 straight points, during which Morrison hit a 3-pointer and added a dunk on a fast break.
“We didn’t have the same intensity and couldn’t hold on,” Simmons said. “If we would’ve played the whole game like the first five minutes we never would have had a problem.”
The Huskies twice led by 21 points in the first half before the Bruins cut their deficit to 52-42 at the break. Washington shot 67 percent in the first 20 minutes, when the Huskies began the game with a 30-9 run.
The Bruins recovered slightly with the help of freshmen Arron Afflalo, Josh Shipp and Farmar, who combined to score 23 points in the final 9 minutes of the half.