|No. 11 UCLA falls short against Cal Poly 70-68|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 25 November 2012 23:50|
Freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first double-double in his debut at Pauley Pavilion and Travis Wear scored 14 points but UCLA fell to Cal Poly 70-68 on Sunday night.
The Bruins (4-2) blew an 18-point lead with 12:21 remaining and made only one field goal in the final three minutes.
Jordan Adams missed a 3-point attempt and time expired on the Bruins, who needed overtime to defeat another Big West opponent, UC Irvine, earlier this month.
UCLA was coming off a loss to Georgetown and a win against Georgia with the reinstated Muhammad, but Sunday was another reality check.
``Obviously it's concerning,'' Travis Wear said. ``We realize we have a long ways to go. It's scary to think about because we're coming up to conference (play) in a little while and we need to buckle down.''
UCLA coach Ben Howland called it a ``very, very tough loss'' and cited a moment when his team turned it over with 12 minutes to go and an 18-point lead.
``We had the ball up 18 and managed to lose the game,'' Howland said. ``Again, you have to give Cal Poly San Luis Obispo credit for not quitting, not giving up.
``We were counting on too many switches out there and guys stopped trailing the shooters. They got some open looks out late in the game and that really hurt us.''
Dylan Royer scored 18 points and Kyle Odister came off the bench to score 15 points and the game winning free throws for Cal Poly.
Chris Eversley had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Mustangs (2-2), who earned their first win against UCLA in six tries. It was the highest-ranked team defeated by Cal Poly, picked to finish seventh in the Big West.
``It feels great,'' Royer said. ``We have so much respect for this school, this program and this team. To be down (by 18 points) is a little discouraging, but we kept our heads up and we kept fighting. As we battled out the points and start to come back we got more confident and said, `Hey, we can do this.'''
Cal Poly made six 3-pointers, including a career-high four by Royer, and shot 58 percent from the field in the second half as UCLA's defense struggled and its offense went stagnant.
Brian Bennett had a career-high 16 points for Cal Poly and Chris O'Brien had a career-high eight assists.
Down 51-33, Cal Poly went on a 34-14 run.
Eversley tipped in a miss for a 67-65 lead and Cal Poly didn't trail the rest of the way. Odister made free throws for a 68-65 lead and 70-68 edge with 14.2 seconds remaining.
Earlier Sunday, UCLA announced that reserve junior guard Tyler Lamb was granted a release from the team to transfer. Lamb started 32 games last season but had knee surgery in October and hadn't played since the season opener because of swelling in the knee.
Howland said Lamb spoke to him on Friday and decided to transfer because he ``just didn't feel like he could get the minutes that he wants.''
Lamb was second on the Bruins last season with 43 3-pointers, and UCLA could have used that shooting touch late. It made one field goal in the final three minutes.
Cal Poly took notice from UCLA's close call against Irvine.
``We watched the Irvine tape quite a bit,'' Cal Poly coach Joe Callero said. ``We thought that if we could get it close, maybe we get a bounce, maybe they miss a shot, maybe we make a shot. It's a lot more pressure on them when they are nationally ranked and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and those guys in green jerseys come trucking down here to wonderful UCLA and their history and their tradition.
``It's great for our program and I respect what our kids have done and bought into it.''
The Bruins opened the second half on a 22-6 run to take a 51-33 lead. David Wear scored seven points in that stretch, including a 3-pointer, a long jumper and a drive in the paint.
Cal Poly made only one field goal in a span of 6:07 but climbed back into the game on a 15-4 run. Odister made a pair of 3-pointers to get the Mustangs to nine points down. After a UCLA timeout, Royer made a 3-pointer to make it 59-51.
Cal Poly got consecutive baskets by Odister, Eversley, Bennett and, after Muhammad missed a jumper, Royer made a 3-pointer to bring the Mustangs to 61-60. Royer again made a 3 to tie it, 63-63.
``We started making dumb plays,'' Travis Wear said. ``We didn't have any clock management out on the floor. We were trying to get fast break points. With the clock going down on defense, I think we needed to recognize time and score and realize that if we would have been more patient we could have put it away.''
Adams made a jumper but the Bruins wouldn't lead again.
UCLA took a 29-27 lead into halftime after it scored the final two baskets of the first half, on a one-handed dunk by Muhammad and a driving layup by Drew.
But Cal Poly used an 11-0 run, capped by Odister's corner 3-pointer, late in the first half to lead for most the final five minutes.
Adams helped keep the Bruins in it with a 3-pointer and a three-point play following a leaping save of the ball and a block by Kyle Anderson at the other end.
UCLA went on a 9-0 run early in the game as Cal Poly went seven minutes without a making a field goal.
Cal Poly made only its second appearance at UCLA since 1955.