UCLA: Keion Bell
December, 28, 2012
By Peter Yoon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- UCLA captured its biggest win of the season with a thrilling 97-94 overtime victory over No. 7 Missouri on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion. A quick breakdown:
How it happened: Shabazz Muhammad scored seven of UCLA's nine points in overtime, including a 3-pointer with just less than a minute to play that gave the Bruins a 95-93 lead. After Earnest Ross made one of two free throws for Missouri, Travis Wear hit a turnaround jumper inside for a 97-94 lead. Missouri got off two tightly contested 3-pointers in desperation time, but neither was close.
UCLA trailed 86-77 with 5:34 to play in regulation but went on a 9-0 run to tie the score with 1:45 to play. A Laurence Bowers dunk with 1:15 to play gave Missouri an 88-86 lead, but Jordan Adams drove the lane and scored to tie it at 88. Missouri got off two shots in the final five seconds.
After a slow start on the offensive end for UCLA, the Bruins used a 15-0 run to take a 23-11 lead that served notice that they intended to give Missouri everything the Tigers could handle. Missouri kept coming back at UCLA, however, shooting 50 percent in the first half. Keion Bell scored 11 consecutive Missouri points during one stretch, and Ross made consecutive 3-point baskets from the same corner to give Missouri the lead back at 44-41 with 3:48 left in the half.
UCLA went on another run and looked as if it would take a halftime lead, but Alex Oriakhi grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for a basket at the first-half buzzer, and the teams went to the break tied at 47-all.
Player of the game: Missouri point guard Phil Pressey set a single-game school record with 19 assists, besting the mark previously held by Stefhon Hannah and Melvin Booker, who each had 13 in a game. Pressey nearly broke the NCAA record of 22 assists. His 12 assists in the first half were as many as anyone had had against UCLA in a game over the past decade. He also had 19 points.
Stat of the game: Where to start? It's unfathomable that UCLA won this game looking at the final stats. Missouri outrebounded UCLA 50-36, and the Tigers shot 47.5 percent and made 12 3-pointers. The best explanation? UCLA had only six turnovers to Missouri's 17.
What it means: UCLA has finally arrived. The Bruins were projected as a top-10 type of team before the season with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation but hadn't shown any signs of being that team until Friday night. Muhammad, who had 27 points, arrived as a prime-time player with his overtime performance.
What’s next: UCLA opens Pac-12 conference play against California on Thursday at 8 p.m. PT at Pauley Pavilion.