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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Natyazhko lone bright spot in loss

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The UCLA Bruins hosted the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats in a battle for a share of the Pacific 10 Conference lead Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, in Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. The Bruins dominated the visiting Wildcats 71-59.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UCLA Bruins hosted the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats in a battle for a share of the Pacific 10 Conference lead Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, in Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. The Bruins dominated the visiting Wildcats 71-59.

LOS ANGELES — Center Kyryl Natyazhko’s final line didn’t stand out, but with forward Derrick Williams sitting on the bench for more than six minutes in the heart of the second half, the sophomore center played one of his better games.

Against the 6-foot-10, 305 pound Bruin Joshua Smith, Natyazhko altered shots to help the Wildcats make an 10-0 run from the 15:56 mark to the 13:22 point in the second half. He also forced misses from UCLA’s guards, who had been slashing to the basket without any of Arizona’s defensive rotations making them miss.

“”Kyryl practices really hard,”” said head coach Sean Miller. “”Sometimes you watch him in practice and you can’t wait for it to carry over into a game. He did a really good job tonight.””

The  6-foot-11, 264-pounds center scored two points off a tip-in and also contributed three rebounds in 16 minutes of action.

Last points in ol’ Pauley

To Arizona fans, a lay-up by UCLA walk-on guard Tyler Trapani to give the Bruins their final two points with 12 seconds left might have been seen as an unnecessary basket. But it was possibly the most fitting make of the evening that sent UCLA out of the final game at historic Pauley Pavilion with a win.

That’s because Trapani is Hall of Fame head coach John Wooden’s great-grandson.

“”I have tears in my eyes thinking about coach Wooden,”” UCLA head coach Ben Howland said afterward. “”It was so fitting to have his great grandson, Tyler Trapani, score the last basket.

“”This was, by far, our best game of the year.””

UCLA fans entered early and left late, soaking in the last game at Pauley Pavilion.

At halftime, members of the 1971 National Championship team, which went 29-1 that year, spoke to the 11,986 in the audience. Throughout the game and thereafter, the arena’s video board went through a laundry list of the biggest games at UCLA’s complex, the home to Wooden, who passed away on June 4, 2010.

The atmosphere was no help to Arizona looking to lock up a conference title.

“”When you play in an atmosphere like this, things get away from you. They really test your togetherness and really test your defense,”” Miller said. “”We didn’t have either tonight.””

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