The Washington Huskies had to have this one, and they got it: 70-63.
They got it despite dismal shooting performances from their three top scorer: Isaiah Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Justin Holiday. (Thomas was scoreless for the first 36 minutes, but ended with nine.)
They got it because redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox stepped up for a career high 24 points – all in the second half.
The win moves UW to 20-9 on the season and 11-6 in the Pac-10 race. UCLA falls to 21-9 and 12-5.
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This completes just the third UW season sweep of UCLA ever. (The others came in 1987 and 2006.) And it was the Huskies seventh straight defeat of the Bruins at Hec Ed.
Washington concludes its season Saturday night when USC visits.
I'll be back with notes and quotes.
1:42 UW, 61-53. Thomas scores on a break after a UCLA turnover. Then UCLA misses. Huskies have lead and leather.
2:38 Wilcox hits two from just on the line, but fouled. Hits free throw for career high 24 points.
3:13 UW up 56-53, as Isaiah Thomas finally gets on the board: missing a leaner in the key and then following it from close. Otherwise, this has become a battle of 3-pointers between Wilcox (21 points) and UCLA's Anderson (14).
7:59 UCLA, which trailed by seven, has climbed back ahead, 45-44. Thomas just rimmed one out, and is still scoreless.
9:30 UW, 44-40. MBA to bench with fourth foul.
11:45 UW, 37-33. Kind of amazing considering a combined five points from Thomas and MBA -- all by MBA.
12:57 Back-to-back Wilcox buckets cause Howland to call time out for the second time this half. UW up, 36-31. Wilcox has 10 points including a pair of treys.
2nd/15:22 Even at 29. During time out, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid introduced and shown on video board.
2nd/18:11 Wilcox three, Wilcox two. Pair of UCLA turnovers. Huskies surge ahead, 29-25. Howland calls time out.
2nd half: Has begun. Smith starts this half for UCLA in place of Stover. Original five for Huskies.
Halftime: UCLA 25, 24. Isaiah Thomas shut out so far -- on 0-for-6 shooting.
Nelson leads all scorers with 10. Overton leads UW with six.
UCLA shooting 37 percent; UW 21 percent. UW 24 rebounds, UCLA 23. UW 2-of-7 on 3-pointers; UCLA 1-of-3.
UCLA 16 points in paint, UW 10. Five blocks by UCLA; four credited to UW, although it seemed like more.
1st/4:34 UW 24-23 as Darnell Gant drills open 3. Revees Nelson 10 points for Bruins.
1st/9:43 UW, 14-13. Scott Suggs checks in, and gets nice hand.
1st/10:35 UW, 12-10. Tough defensive game. Three blocks by both teams. And these are muscular inside big-man blocks. And unlike most Pac-10 crews, these guys aren't blowing their whistles at every touch in the paint.
1st/15:17 Even at 8. Smith has come off bench for Bruins.
1st/18:10 Thomas ally-opp to MBA throw-down ... and one of the loudest Hec Ed roars of the season. Crowd is into this one.
Tipoff: Isaiah Thomas signals "raise the roof" ... and the game has begun. Lineups: As expected for Huskies: Thomas, Wilcox, Holiday, MBA, N'Diaye. For UCLA: Stover, Lee, Jones, Nelson, Honeycutt.
30 minutes till tip: Hmm, well, this is new. We're getting a pregame on-court performance by the UW band.
50 minutes till tip: Dawg Pack hassling UCLA's Josh Smith of Kent as he practices free throws. He's a 61 percent guy so far this season.
65 minutes till tip: Both teams out warming up. Huskies in white, Bruins in blue.
UW guard Scott Suggs is in uniform and seems to be moving around normally. He's expected to play tonight, although C.J. Wilcox is expected to keep his starting spot.
Pregame: The first two Huskies out to warm up today are Isaiah Thomas and Darnell Gant. They are out shooing about two hours before the 6 o'clock tip tonight for a very big game against Pac-10 co-leader UCLA.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and the usual radio outlets. And, of course, we'll keep this blog open all evening for pregame, in-game and postgame updates and your own comments.