- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
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We go beyond the arc following UCLA's narrow 74-73 win over UC Irvine on Thursday night:
1MISSED FREE THROWS ALMOST COSTLY
With the game on the line, UCLA nearly blew it at the line.
The Bruins missed six free throws in the final 51 seconds, going 2-for-8, to make things interesting Thursday.
Junior guard Jerime Anderson, a 56.3 percent free-throw shooter this season, missed a pair with UCLA up five. The Anteaters cut the deficit to two before Lazeric Jones, the team's best foul shooter at 80.8 percent, split his two attempts. Reeves Nelson also split his pair to put the Bruins up four with 14 seconds remaining.
A Darren Moore three made it a one-point game with seven ticks left and freshman Tyler Lamb missed two to give UC Irvine a chance at the upset.
The Bruins shot 12-for-23 (52.2 percent) for the game. They're shooting 64.4 for the season.
"Our free-throw shooting down the stretch was obviously a problem for us," coach Ben Howland said. "We've got to be able to close out games by making foul shots."
2LET'S TALK ABOUT IT...
Made basket. Timeout.
It has become a Howland trademark in his eight years as UCLA's head coach.
So it wasn't surprising that the whistle blew when Jones' three-pointer gave the Bruins a 14-point lead with 16:51 remaining in the game Thursday. UCLA had things going its way, but Howland wanted to talk things through. He said he's never been afraid of destroying the momentum.
"We're up 14," Howland remembered telling his team. "Let's shorten the game, there's 16-something to go, let's have a good defensive possession coming out of this timeout."
UC Irvine (6-6) responded with a 14-6 run following the timeout and hung close for the rest of the night.
3VIDEO: BEN HOWLAND AND JOSHUA SMITH REACTION
We go beyond the arc following UCLA's narrow 74-73 win over UC Irvine on Thursday night:1MISSED FREE THROWS ALMOST COSTLYWith the game on the line, UCLA nearly blew it at the line.