LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Unheralded Wagner College gave No. 12 UCLA
all it could handle, and Bruins coach Ben Howland said it was no
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored from underneath with 14 seconds
remaining Wednesday night, lifting UCLA to a hard-fought 74-72
"I'm glad we got that win. That's a tough, hard-nosed team that
came in determined to beat us on our home court," Howland said.
"We were fortunate to come away with a victory."
Mbah a Moute made his only field goal of the second half after
Jordan Farmar found him alone under the basket.
"It was an isolation for me," Farmar said. "I saw a man run
at me. He was wide open, and I got him the ball."
Said Mbah a Moute: "I knew it was coming. I just got ready and
finished it. And it was a great pass by Jordan."
Wagner was unable to get a shot off after that thanks to UCLA's
hard-nosed defense. Mark Porter's wild 3-pointer from about 30 feet
came after the final buzzer sounded, and wasn't close.
"Give them credit, they did a good job defensively on the last
possession," Wagner coach Mike Deane said. "I thought we played
well enough to win. It was a very disappointing loss, but they made
the plays they needed to make in the last 30 seconds and we didn't.
"To be in position to win this game, that's a good statement.
We were equal with UCLA tonight. For us as a program to compete at
UCLA, it's a testament of how far our team has come as a program."
The win was the sixth straight for UCLA and its ninth
consecutive victory at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins (9-1) are off to
their best start in eight years.
Wagner (6-2) is off to its best start since the 1979-80 season.
The Seahawks, members of the Northeast Conference, had their
four-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the fourth time
in 21 games dating to last January.
Arron Afflalo led a balanced UCLA attack with 13 points, all but
two after halftime. Farmar had 12 points and nine assists -- one off
his career high. Freshman Darren Collison scored a career-high 12
points; sophomore Lorenzo Mata had a career-best 11, and Cedric
Bozeman also scored 11. Mbah a Moute finished with six points and
UCLA won despite going 1-of-13 from 3-point range and 9-of-18
from the free throw line. The Bruins outrebounded the Seahawks
Wagner was called for 18 fouls to only eight for the Bruins.
UCLA shot 16-of-25 in the second half and 32-of-61 overall, while
the Seahawks shot 14-of-24 after halftime and 28-of-52 overall,
including 10-of-16 from 3-point range.
A 3-pointer by Porter with 1:54 to play gave Wagner a 71-70
lead, but Farmar's short jumper 27 seconds later, his first field
goal of the second half, put the Bruins ahead. Vinson made a foul
shot with 1:09 left to tie it at 72.
Collison scored four points during an 8-0 run that gave the
Bruins a 61-59 lead with 6:44 to play. Neither team led by more
than two points after that.
Porter scored seven points during a 16-7 run to start the second
half, giving the Seahawks a 49-42 lead.
Afflalo made UCLA's only 3-pointer of the game with 11:55 left
to trim Wagner's lead to three points, but a basket by McLemore and
a 3-pointer by Matt Vitale made it 57-49 with 10½ minutes
The Bruins came into the game off victories over two previously
unbeaten teams -- No. 20 Nevada and Michigan. But the smaller
Seahawks didn't seem intimidated, taking a 20-12 lead in the
opening 10 minutes.
UCLA missed its first seven free throws before Mata made the
second of two attempts, triggering a 13-4 run that put the Bruins
UCLA led 35-33 at halftime. The lead would have been larger had
the Bruins not missed the seven free throws, several layups and all
seven of their 3-point shots. They outrebounded the Seahawks 24-13
in the half.
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