Friday, January 29, 2010
Bruins let one slip away
EUGENE, Ore. -- Somehow, someway, senior Michael Roll slipped under a screen and nailed a clutch three-point basket to send Thursday's game to overtime.
McArthur Court -- one of the loudest arenas in the land -- went completely silent. Laptops on press row stopped shaking. Finally, you could hear yourself think.
Roll gave the 7,528 in attendance five minutes of bonus basketball, five more minutes of UCLA and Oregon for one last time in the Pit in what turned out to be a 71-66 Bruins loss.
The Bruins trailed by three with less than 20 seconds left in overtime when Roll then turned his focus to the defensive end and forced a held ball. Possession error pointed toward UCLA and the Bruins had yet another chance to tie the score.
For whatever reason, Roll did not have the ball in his hands as the clock wound down.
"We had a play set for me to come across, hopefully draw some defenders and Nikola [Dragovic] to get open," Roll said.
This is the same Roll who earlier this season made a last-second jumper to help UCLA escape Haas Pavilion with a one-point victory over California. The same Roll who has made three Final Four appearances and is among the Pacific 10 Conference leaders in career games played.
Instead, the ball went to Dragovic, who registered a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. He attempted a game-high 17 shots -- 13 of them from beyond the arc.
He didn't like his last look, though, and with the precious time dwindling, drove to the basket. He was fouled (a smart play by Oregon's Jeremy Jacob), missed the first of a one-and-one free-throw chance and that was that for UCLA (9-11, 4-4 Pac-10).
"It just came off my hand wrong," Dragovic said regarding the missed free throw. "I can't remember missing a free throw in the last minute ever in my career. But it happened tonight."