LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Dijon Thompson helped UCLA end its historic run of frustration.
Thompson nailed a tough turnaround jumper with six seconds left in overtime as the Bruins ended an 11-game Pac-10 Conference losing streak with a 76-76 victory over No. 20 California.
UCLA (6-16, 3-10 Pac-10) faced a 75-74 deficit when Thompson missed a jumper with 10 seconds left in overtime. The rebound was knocked around and ended up back in the hands of Thompson, who nailed a jumper over the outstretched arm of California's Conor Famulener.
"I tipped it two, maybe three times, but I couldn't grab it," UCLA guard Ray Young said. "I hit it and it went to the other side and that's when Thompson grabbed it."
"All we had to do was grab one rebound down the stretch," Golden Bears coach Ben Braun said. "Instead of grabbing the ball, we tipped the ball."
After a timeout, California (18-5, 11-3) had one chance to win. Amit Tamir missed a jumper from the left side of the lane and time expired as the rebound was batted around.
"It felt good, it was part of the play we wanted to run," Tamir said. "I just missed it."
Thompson led UCLA with 20 points and 10 rebounds and Young, starting in place of injured Cedric Bozeman, netted a season-high 19 points. Young, a fifth-year senior, was averaging just 6.4 points per game.
The Bruins ended an eight-game home losing streak and improved to 3-9 at Pauley Pavilion in the 600th game in the history of the building.
"It may not have been well-played, but it was two teams competing the whole way," embattled UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. "What I am most proud of with this team is that we've continued to compete."
Thompson's game-winner was set up by a missed 1-and-1 opportunity by California freshman Richard Midgley - a 70 percent foul shooter - with 28 seconds left.
"He's a good free-throw shooter, he just missed it," Braun said.
Brian Wethers led all scorers with 21 points for California, which had a four-game winning streak stopped. The Golden Bears fell into a second-place tie in the Pac-10 with Bay Area rival Stanford.
"We let a golden opportunity slip away," Wethers said. "It was an all-around disappointing game."
UCLA led by as many as 13 points in the second half and was on the verge of turning the game into a blowout. However, as expected in this troubling season, nothing came easy for the Bruins.
A 3-pointer by Tamir with 51 seconds left in regulation gave California its first lead of the second half, 72-70. Jason Kapono misfired on a 3-pointer on the other end, but T.J. Cummings put in the rebound to tie it.
The Golden Bears held for the final shot and Wethers missed a contested jumper with five seconds to go.
Neither team scored in the extra session until Joe Shipp nailed a 3-pointer to give Cal a 75-72 lead with 2:43 left. It was the Golden Bears' last points of the game.
Kapono made a pair at the line with 1:35 remaining to cut UCLA's deficit to a point, but Young missed a dunk that could have given it the lead. Young was fouled and missed a pair at the line and UCLA received a reprieve when Midgley missed his foul shot.
"With the kind of season it's been, it looked pretty grim down the stretch when a couple of plays didn't go our way," said Lavin, who improved to 11-5 in overtime games. "I've always told our kids the whole year how they have to keep faith with themselves. Hopefully, tonight is a step in the right direction."
The Bruins scored the final eight points of the first half for a 38-33 lead and stayed hot after the break. UCLA made 10 of its first 11 shots in the second half and took a 62-49 advantage on a 3-pointer by Thompson with 13:20 remaining.
The Golden Bears chipped away before Wethers was fouled by Kapono on a 3-pointer at the 4:24 mark. Wethers made 2-of-3 at the line for a 67-67 tie.
Shipp scored 18 points, Midgley had 13 and Tamir added 12 and 10 rebounds for Cal, which shot 40 percent (31-of-77). Wethers and Tamir combined to make just 14-of-44 shots.
UCLA moved one-half game in front of Washington for eight place in the conference. Only the top eight teams qualify for the Pac-10 tournament.
"It was big to win at home," Young said. "We don't give our fans a reason to cheer for us."
Cummings scored 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting off the bench as UCLA shot 48 percent (29-of-60). The Bruins held a 44-36 edge on the glass.