Roy Hamilton scored a career high 36 points tonight and UCLA rallied to bury San Francisco 99-81, in a West Regional semifinal of the NCAA college basketball tournament.
DePaul came back to beat Marquette, 62-56, in the other semifinal to set up a UCLA-DePaul regional final Saturday afternoon at Marriott Center at Brigham Young University.
DePaul lost by 23 points to UCLA at Pauley Pavilion in its first game of the season, "but we'll be ready for them this time," said guard Gary Garland, who had 15 points in the victory over Marquette.
Curtis Watkins and Mark Aguirre each had 19 for the winners, while Bernard Toone led Marquette with 26 points.
UCLA had its problems early trying to contend with San Francisco's size. The Dons start a lineup of 7-foot Bill Cartwright, two 6-8s, a 6-6 and a 6-5. Their first two men off the bench were another 7-footer and another 6-8. The Dons forced the ball inside and hit the boards.
Cartwright had 34 points, 17 in each half, but the Bruins just had too many weapons, their most important being quickness.
San Francisco moved to a nine-point lead at 23-14 midway through the first half, but UCLA kept pressing and making the outside shots and had cut the margin to 43-41 by halftime.
Cartwright scored San Francisco's first six points of the second half as the Dons moved to a 51-45 lead. Then the Bruins really started clicking. David Greenwood and Kiki Vandeweghe combined for 11 points as UCLA ran off a 13-0 spurt to take a 58-51 lead with 15 minutes to play.
Once they got ahead, the Bruins started running more and the Dons began to fold.
Hamilton, whose previous college high was 30 points, scored on drives, long jumpers and even after getting a couple of offensive rebounds.
Hamilton made 15 of 20 shots and handed out seven assists. His backcourt mate, Brad Holand, added 22 points on 11 of 18 shots as the Bruins shot 73 percent the second half and 60 percent for the game.
There was one 90-second stretch in which Holland made two 28-footers and a 30-footer and the ball never hit anything but the bottom of the net.
In the first game, Marquette lost a nine-point lead in the first half and was up, 48-40, with 8:36 to go after a three-point play by Robert Byrd.
Marquette Coach Hank Raymonds and DePaul Coach Ray Meyer agreed that the biggest play of the game occurred on Marquette's next possession.
After Byrd's three points, Garland missed a jumper for DePaul. Sam Worthen rebounded for Marquette, but his length of the court pass intended for Toone sailed out of bounds.
"That was the game right there," said Raymonds. "If we had scored then, we would have sat on it."
But DePaul scored the next eight points as Garland hit three 25-footers and Watkins made two free throws. That tied the score with six minutes to play.
The lead changed hands six times after that before DePaul went ahead for good on a driving layup by Watkins with 1:33 left.
Watkins scored eight of his points in the final 3 minutes 45 seconds.
"We tried to force them into a running game," Meyer said, "and the stat that tells the story is turnovers. We had six and they had 17."
Marquette started the game with an 8-0 run and seemed to have DePaul and the tempo under control. But DePaul is a very quick team, while Watkins and Garland are one of the top guard lines in the country. They kept pressing and scrapping and Marquette wilted.
UCLA did a rare thing for it tonight in the second half. The Bruins went to a 2-3 zone and collapsed their defense around Cartwright.
With the zone making it difficult for San Francisco to get the ball inside to Cartwright, the Dons panicked and began forcing up bad shots. That was playing right into UCLA's hands.