- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
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We go beyond the arc following UCLA's dramatic 86-84 victory over California at Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night:
1THE FINAL 18 SECONDS
2LEE PUTS CLAMPS ON CRABBE
Malcolm Lee admitted that his mind went blank as he watched the final three minutes of Thursday night's game from the bench.
"It seems like everything went so fast," Lee said. "Those three minutes seemed liked 15 minutes."
Blame that on Cal freshman Allen Crabbe (Los Angeles, Calif./Price), a player Lee had shut down all night. But immediately after Lee's exit, Crabbe turned it on. The reigning Gatorade State Player of the Year scored 13 of his 17 points in the final three-plus minutes. He sank the game-tying three-pointer with 10 seconds left.
Coach Ben Howland blamed himself for Lee's foul trouble, saying he played the junior guard too many minutes in the second half. The Bruins led 73-61 when Lee fouled out.
"I just tried to pressure (Crabbe) and make him dribble into his shot," Lee added. "And although a lot of people might not see it, I depend on my teammates a lot on ball picks. ... I was just trying to make him work for it."
3HEATING UP THE STOVE
Before Thursday night's game, redshirt freshman Anthony Stover was best known for his work as UCLA's hype man. You know, dancing in the pregame huddle, bumping chests with starters, waving the towel.
Stover ditched the warm-up suit to make his first career start, a move Howland made to give UCLA a better defensive post presence. He had been virtually unknown, so much so that the top note in his game day biography read: "Was stricken with a gastrointestinal illness on the evening of Dec. 11 and missed practice Dec. 12."
On Thursday, butterflies were the only thing inside his stomach.
"Coach told me not long before the game," Stover said. "I don't know if he did it on purpose, but it was kind of a shock to me. He said, 'You're starting tonight.' I looked at him and thought, 'No I'm not. What are you talking about?' Getting out here and starting was an experience in itself. It was so exciting just to be playing in front of this big crowd."
Stover grabbed a career-best four rebounds in 15 minutes. He didn't play in the final nine minutes, 35 seconds, as Howland opted to go with backup forward Brendan Lane.
"It was a lot of nerves, but I tried not to let the nerves get in the way," Stover said. "If I'm starting or coming off the bench playing four minutes a game, I'm just out here to trying to do what I can."
4dChantel Jennings and Kevin Gemmell