Brian Williams was playing the game of his life, and he almost threw it - and an imposing Arizona team statistic - away.
Arizona had lost consecutive games only once in the last four seasons. The fifth-ranked Wildcats were upset by Southern Cal on Thursday night, and Williams put them in position to lose to No. 14 UCLA on Sunday.As it turned out, his bad pass merely meant overtime, and the Cats prevailed 105-94 to add to their Pacific-10 Conference lead.
With UCLA pressing after a turnover, Williams threw a blind pass right to the Bruins' Gerald Madkins, who converted the gift into a slam dunk that gave UCLA an 85-84 lead with 26 seconds left in regulation.
"I couldn't believe I let that happen," Williams said. "I figured someone would break to the ball. I faked it, but couldn't hold it. It feels really good to find a way out of that," said Williams, who finished with a career-high 32 points and added 14 rebounds.
After Madkins' gift dunk, UCLA's Mitchell Butler made one of two free throws with six seconds left,
Bruin forward Don MacLean knocked away a pass on Arizona's final possession, but Chris Mills picked up the ball on the baseline and scored at the buzzer for an 86-86 tie.
Williams made the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for good at 92-90 with 2:45 left in overtime. He had 4 points in the extra period and Mills had 5.
Arizona (19-4, 8-3) opened a one-game lead over surprising Washington State (7-4) in the Pac 10 conference. UCLA fell to 17-6 and back to .500 in the conference at 5-5. Arizona has beaten the Bruins four straight times and eight of their last nine meetings.
Matt Muehlebach added 15 points for Arizona.
MacLean scored 28 to push his career total to 1,781 and move into the school's No. 4 career scoring spot. He passed Bill Walton, who scored 1,767 points from 1972-74. Tracy Murray had 23 and Madkins 18 for UCLA.
"This was a great college basketball game," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "It had great atmosphere and great intensity on both teams.
"Each team could have won in regulation - Arizona without the turnover and UCLA if it had hit the free throw.
"Williams was a star of stars," Olson said. "He had a tremendous game. Another key is that he defended Don MacLean for a long period of time with four fouls."
UCLA coach Jim Harrick said he didn't see Mills take his game-tying shot, "but then I saw it when the ball was in the air and I knew it was good.
"We had lost a little momentum (going into OT), because we were very disappointed in the way (regulation) ended," Harrick said. "When you're dejected, you have to pick yourself up. They were lucky to be in it and were excited. We were down."
No. 4 Indiana 81, Purdue 63
Calbert Cheaney scored 18 points and became the fourth Indiana sophomore to reach the 1,000-point career mark. The Hooisers (22-2) took over first place in the Big Ten. Purdue (11-10) lost its fifth straight conference game.
No. 6 Duke 88, No. 19 LSU 70
Duke's crowd heckled Shaquille O'Neal and the Blue Devils hounded LSU's star center, holding him to season-low 15 points and 10 rebounds. O'Neal was averaging 28 points and led the nation with 15 rebounds per game.
Duke (21-4) won its second game in two days and sixth in a row, getting 24 points from Christian Laettner. LSU is 15-7.
Wake Forest 74, No. 11 Virginia 66
Randolph Childress scored 11 of his 19 points in the last 10 minutes as Wake Forest sent Virginia to its third loss in a four-day trip through North Carolina.
Wake Forest (14-7 overall, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its fourth straight game and beat Virginia for just the second time in their last 12 meetings. Virginia (17-7, 5-5) had won six straight before losing by 12 points at Duke on Thursday and by 19 at North Carolina on Saturday.