BERKELEY “”mdash; In Michael Roll’s mind, it was only right that his shot from the corner of the key with 1.9 seconds left in overtime went in.

On the previous possession, with the Bruins up by one, Roll fumbled a pass from senior forward Nikola Dragovic, leading to Jamal Boykin jumpshot to give California the lead with 22 seconds remaining in the game.

Yet Roll would not let his mistake determine the outcome for the Bruins.

When UCLA point guard Jerime Anderson’s pass to forward Reeves Nelson was deflected, Roll picked up the loose ball, and with a clutch shot from the far corner of the key, Roll atoned, leading the UCLA men’s basketball team (7-8, 2-1 Pac-10) to a thrilling 76-75 win over California (9-5, 1-1) at Haas Pavilion Wednesday night.

“It was only right because Nik made a good pass to me on the play before,” said Roll, who finished with a team-high 19 points. “I kind of missed it, hit it off my knee so I was feeling terrible after that, didn’t want to lose a game on that. It was only right that it came back to me and I make the shot.”

UCLA coach Ben Howland, citing the nature of how the play unfolded, was blunt with his take on it.

“To be honest, at the end of the game on the last play, we were lucky,” Howland said. “The bounce went our way, which is nice. Mike Roll just happens to have the ball.”

The fact that there was an overtime needed in the game seemed unlikely when California’s Theo Robertson made a lay-up to put the Bears up by 12 with 15:41 remaining in the second half.

With the way the Bruins were missing free throws and not converting good looks on offense, it appeared the team was headed to another one-sided loss.

However, the shots that failed to fall for the Bruins in the first half, when the team shot 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from the field and 18.2 percent (2-of-11) from three-point territory, started to fall.

Roll and Dragovic, the latter of whom finished with 18 points, made a combined six-of-eight three-pointers in the second half to pull the Bruins back into the game after trailing by eight at halftime.

Sparked by the hot outside shooting and the Bruins’ ability to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line, UCLA went on a 23-14 run and pulled within one point on a Roll three-pointer with 8:32 left in the second half.

Dragovic said that he, Roll, and sophomore guard Malcolm Lee, who finished with six points and started at point guard in place of Anderson, met at halftime and told each other that the shooting would eventually turn itself around.

Roll said it also helps when one player starts making shots.

“Once Nik makes one, I see that, I get hyped up. I make one, Nik gets hyped up too,” Roll said. “We just feel the energy.”

Howland too felt that a number of the shots the team was taking in the first half were much better looks than the team got in last week’s loss to Arizona.

“We had good shots early in this game,” Howland said. “I thought we did a better job of having good shot selection; we just weren’t making them.”

Another factor in the Bruins’ ability to overcome their largest deficit of the season and win a game was the perimeter defense that forced the Bears to shoot just 11.1 percent (2-of-18) from three-point territory.

Forward Theo Robertson led Cal with 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting while guard Patrick Christopher added 14 points.

“It’s really disappointing,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “Sometimes I don’t underdstand how we cannot treat a UCLA game as a big, big game in terms of coming out full of fire. We didn’t seem to have that.”

Throughout the game, the Bruins switched from a zone defense to man defense a number of times.

“(The zone defense) helped us today,” Howland said.

Despite the nature of the win in a season in which there have been few of them, both the players and coaches emphasized that Saturday’s game against Stanford is crucial.

“We gotta win on Saturday to make this one count,” Dragovic said.