UCLA, Edney roll on, 74-61

UCLA, Edney roll on, 74-61

D. Orlando Ledbetter

Seattle Tyus Edney had to think long and hard.

The mercurial senior point guard could not come up with the name of anybody who has managed to stop him on a basketball court.

Not anybody.

Not ever.

“There’s really not anybody that I can remember,” Edney said. “I’ve been able to get into the lane and cause problems for a lot of teams.”

The 5-foot-10-inch, 152-pound guard motored past Oklahoma State for key baskets, directing the tempo down the stretch to help UCLA post a 74-61 victory over the Cowboys before a crowd of more than 39,000 Saturday at the Kingdome.

In the end, Oklahoma State was the latest team devoid of an answer for Edney.

Andre Owens had three fouls early in game; Chianti Roberts could not stay with him; and finally Terry Collins also had difficulty.

“Our whole career he’s been able to do that,” said Ed O’Bannon, who scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists for the Bruins. “We expected him to control things again today. He’s carried the team for four years. He has brought us to where we are today as a team.”

Leg 1 ends here UCLA (30-2) advances to the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship game. The Bruins will play the winner of the North Carolina-Arkansas contest later Saturday in the title game at 7:40 p.m. Monday.

The Bruins will have a chance to add to their record 10 NCAA titles and will play in the title game for the first time since 1975, the year that marked the end of the John Wooden era.

Oklahoma State, the lowest- seeded team to reach the Final Four, finished its season at 27-10.

Edney scored 21 points to pace the Bruins, but his control of the tempo allowed the Bruins to beat the Cowboys at the slower pace. Charles O’Bannon added 19 points and six rebounds.

“We did a very poor job of containing Edney,” Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton said. “Edney broke us down late in the game and they made their free throws.”

Oklahoma State was led by Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, who scored 25 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Randy Rutherford, Oklahoma State’s top outside shooter, was held to 15 points and made only 4 of 11 three-pointers.

Reeves had 18 points at halftime, but the Bruins went into a 2-3 zone in the second half. And every time the ball went inside, there were three Bruins surrounding the big center.

“It seems like he wasn’t as active,” Sutton said. “But you have to give UCLA some credit. They Leg 2 ends here played good defense.

Reeves played the entire 40 minutes.

“I think they did a good job {in the zone},” Reeves said. “They were running me around. I got a little tired.”

The Bruins, the No. 1 ranked team in the country and the last top-seeded team left in the NCAA tournament, were supposed to fold under the pressure of the Cowboys’ tenacious defense.

But with Edney in control, the Bruins were in good hands.

“People tend to underestimate our defense and our halfcourt offense,” Ed O’Bannon said. “I hope that they do it again on Monday. We’re very successful when we can play our game.”

Reeves had drawn three fouls inside on J.R. Henderson in the first half and two on George Zidek. The move to the zone was necessary for the Bruins, who did not want Reeves taking over the game.

“In the zone you can’t really do too much to stop him,” Ed O’Bannon said. “We tried to get as many hands in his face as possible and we tried to make him pass the ball back outside.”

The Bruins also wanted to use the zone to disrupt the flow of the Cowboys’ offense.

“They are a very strong man- to-man offensive team,” Harrick said. “They run a lot of screens and picks against man-to-man defense. We wanted to change that with the zone.”

Leg 3 ends here Oklahoma State got a strong showing from Reeves as the score was tied, 37-37, at halftime.

The Cowboys’ bruising power game suffered a shaky start in the first half, when they had 14 of their 19 turnovers. The Bruins appeared frustrated at times because they could not throw their fast break into overdrive.

To open the second half, Terry Collins made a three-pointer for Oklahoma State before UCLA went on an 11-0 run to make it 48-40.

Copyright 1995

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