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UCLA basketball: Bruins up three at halftime

January 23, 2010 |  2:02 pm

Uclahoops2_300 What had been a solid half by UCLA unraveled at the end, leaving the Bruins in the lead, 30-27, but Washington State in the game.

Reeves Nelson’s two free throws with 2 minutes, 48 seconds left in the half gave the Bruins a 30-21 lead, their largest since New Year’s Eve against Arizona State (five games ago).

But three turnovers on consecutive possessions were converted into three-pointers by Nikola Koprivica and Klay Thompson to give the Cougars momentum heading into the second half.

The Bruins defense has been solid and they have limited Thompson -- the nation’s sixth leading scorer at 22.8 points per game -- to five points.

Thompson was two of eight from the field, as the Cougars shot only 35% against the Bruins’ zone.

Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, whose jumper at the buzzer beat Washington on Thursday, leads UCLA with eight points. He made three of five shots from the field, two of which were three-pointers.

--Chris Foster

Photo: Bruins forward James Keefe holds his position as Washington State's DeAngelo Casto looks to score in the first half Saturday afternoon. Credit: Bret Hartman / Associated Press