UCLA, behind 19 points each from Rod Foster and Mike Sanders, upset 10th-ranked Ohio State tonight, 72-68, and Clemson used Larry Nance's and John Campbell's second-half power to down Lamar, 74-66, in the semifinals of the NCAA West Regional.
UCLA made five of six free throws in the final 37 seconds to ensure the win. The Bruins will play Clemson Saturday for the regional championship at the University of Arizona's McKale Center.
The Buckeyes led by as many as seven points in the first half, behind the scoring of Kelvin Ransey outside and Herb Williams inside.
But the quickness of UCLA began to pay off late in the period, as Foster, Sanders and Darren Daye inspired a Bruin charge that left Ohio State at least temporarily bewildered. The Bruins tied the game with 4:30 remaining in the half on a Sanders hoop and forged a 35-31 lead at intermission.
In the Clemson contest, Nance and Campbell, both 6-10, were tied up in the first half by Lamar's 6-7 B. B. Davis and 6-8 Clarence Kea, who out-rebounded the two Tigers, 11-7, to pace Lamar to a 36-33 halftime lead.
Trailing, 57-51, with 9:36 to play, Clemson took advantage of poor Lamar shooting to erase the deficit and open a 67-62 lead behind six points each from Nance and Campbell.
Nance finished the night with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Campbell had 15 points and 12 rebounds as the Tigers shot 46 percent to Lamar's 39 percent.
Lamar's Mike Olliver led all scorers with 20 points and Davis added 16 for the 22-11 Southland Conference champions.
Clemson (23-9) iced the game by going into a spread offense with a 67-62 lead with four minutes to play and forcing Lamar to foul. The Tigers made 10 of 12 free throws, offsetting two Olliver bombs and an 18-foot jumper by Cestrakiah Lewis to put away the pesky Cardinals.
The Bruins outrebounded taller Ohio State, 21-14, in the first half.
UCLA expanded its lead to nine at 42-33 early in the second half on a Foster steal. Ransey, however, went on a rampage, scoring 13 of his team's next 15 points as the Buckeyes tied it, 46-46, with 13:41 to play.
The two teams literally traded baskets for the next six minutes until Ohio State grabbed a 56-54 lead on consecutive hoops by Tood Penn and Clark Kellogg. In all, the game was tied eight times in the second half.
Ohio State led for the last time at 66-65 when Ransey dropped in his game-high 28th and 29th points.
But Ohio State guard Carter Scott and Ransey both fouled out with about a minute to play, and UCLA ran off seven straight points, all from the free throw line, to ice the game.