Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 13) - After fighting back from 14 points down late in the second half, Loyola Marymount University would force overtime before UCLA's Cedric Bozeman hit a three-pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining and the shot clock at zero to lift UCLA to a 69-66 win at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night.
Junior Charles Brown would complete a Lions come-back by hitting a three-pointer to tie the game with 30 seconds remaining at 60-60 to force overtime. Brown finished with a game and season-high 17 points to lead the Lions. LMU would erase a 14-point deficit in the final 5:29 to send the game to an extra frame.
"I am proud of our team tonight," said Head Coach Steve Aggers. "We really got killed on the glass in the first half. However, we played with great intensity in the second half and gave ourselves a chance to win."
The Lions would take their first lead of the game at the 4:11 mark of overtime on a jumper by Brown, making the score 62-60. Sophomore Wes Wardorp would hit a jumper of his own with 3:38 remaining to give LMU a four-point lead at 64-60. The Wardrop field goal completed a 23-5 run that spanned the final two minutes of regulation and the first two minutes of overtime.
However, the Bruins would close the game on a 9-2 run to pull-out the win. There were two ties in the five-minute extra session, the last at 66 when Chris Ayer hit a turnaround jumper for the Lions with 39 seconds left.
On UCLA's ensuing possession, Bozeman passed to freshman Trevor Ariza, who
bobbled the ball but managed to kick it out to Bozeman for the game-winning
The Lions would once again play solid defense in its first trip to Pauley Pavilion in five seasons. They would hold the Bruins to 31.7 shooting from the field and just 15 percent from the three-point line. However, the Lions were called for 30 fouls compared to UCLA's 14 as the Bruins went 28-for-41 from the Lions. LMU went 9-for-13.
"We played very well defensively in the final 10 minutes," said Aggers. "Our changing defenses was very effective to bring us back in the game."
The Bruins would build the lead to as many as 14 in the second frame with 5:17 remaining when Bozeman hit a jumper to make the score 55-41. However, the Lions would not go away.
Freshman Damian Martin would capitalize on a three-point play with 1:03 remaining to cut it to 59-55. After the Bruins would hit just one of two free throws, Gay would chip in a three-footer with :41 seconds remaining to cut the lead to three, 60-57.
Then Brown hit the biggest shot for the Lions, a three-pointer with 30 seconds to complete the Lions comeback, tying the game at 60-60. The Lions finished the second half holding UCLA without a field goal for the final 5:14.
"That little kid (Charles Brown) tonight really hurt us," said UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland. "That team is really going to make some noise in their conference."
Both teams struggled at the start of the game as neither team scored a field goal until 14:13 on a dunk by Michael Fey. Then Jason Dickens got the Lions first field goal at 13:51 to make it 7-2.
LMU held the Bruins with just one field goal for the first nine minutes, holding them to 1-for-14 (7 percent). The Lions held UCLA to 24 percent from the field in the half (7-for-29). LMU hit 32 percent from the field, making two more field goals.
However, the Bruins went 17-for-23 from the free throw line as the Lions committed 14 fouls. In addition, the Bruins took advantage of a 35-11 first-half edge in rebounding as the Lions trailed 31-23 at the break.
Martin finished the game with a career-high 13 points and senior Sherman Gay added 13 points. Bozeman finished with 16 to lead the Bruins.
LMU will travel to play Denver on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 6:00 p.m. (PST).
- GO LIONS -