Mizzou lives and dies by Pressey, loses to UCLA in OT

By the Associated Press
Updated at 7:33 a.m.

LOS ANGELES — No. 7 Missouri had its chances against UCLA, leading by nine points with 4:04 left in regulation and by two points in overtime. The Tigers couldn’t close it out while playing their first true road game of the season.

Phil Pressey had a recording setting game but his 19 points and a career-high 19 of Missouri’s 21 assists, weren’t enough to push Missouri past UCLA Friday night, losing in overtime, 97-94.

Shabazz Muhammad hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:01 left in overtime. Pressey missed a 3-pointer with 5 seconds to go before Laurence Bowers grabbed the rebound and missed a 3-pointer in front of the Tigers’ bench as time expired.

Missouri coach Frank Haith said the Tigers’ final play in overtime was supposed to be for Ross.

“But Pressey took the shot off a ball-screen action and he didn’t make it,” Haith said. “We made some really gambling plays and that really cost us. We need to learn how to finish a game out in the last 3 minutes.”

Keion Bell and Bowers had 17 points each, Earnest Ross added 16 and Jabari Brown had 14 for the Tigers (10-2). Along with his assists, Pressey also had five of the team’s 17 turnovers, including several in the crucial last minutes of the game. UCLA committed six turnovers.

The Bruins extended their winning streak to five games and the Tigers move to 10-2 for the season.

Muhammad tied his career high with 27 points, David Wear scored 16, Jordan Adams had 12 and Larry Drew II added 12 assists for the Bruins (10-3). They came in 0-2 against ranked opponents this season after losing to Georgetown and San Diego State.

The Tigers made a season-high 12 3-pointers, including four by Brown. As the nation’s top rebounding team, they controlled the boards, 50-36.

Adams’ layup tied the game at 88 with 11 seconds to go in regulation. The Bruins were forced to foul, and Adams grabbed Pressey and flung him to the ground with 4 seconds left. Pressey lay briefly before getting up.

After a timeout, Brown’s jumper missed and Travis Wear came up with a block when Bell went for the offensive rebound as regulation expired.

The Tigers were 6 of 10 from the free throw line, while UCLA was 13 of 16.

“We have to find a way to get aggressive on the road,” Haith said. “We will learn from it. There is a lot of basketball left in the season.”

The team’s traded runs in the second half, with the Bruins ending on an 11-2 spurt to force overtime. Missouri preceded that burst with 12 straight points of its own to turn a three-point deficit into an 86-77 lead, its largest since midway through the opening half. Pressey scored the first five, Bell stole the ball and dunked on the fast break, and Bowers capped it with a three-point play.

Tied 47-all at the break, the Bruins opened the second half on a 16-7 run to go up 63-54. Missouri fought back from the perimeter, hitting four 3-pointers to close to 77-74.

The Bruins’ hadn’t beaten such a highly ranked nonconference opponent since Nov. 20, 2007, when they defeated No. 10 Michigan State.

The game was another thrilling chapter in the teams’ history. The Bruins beat the Tigers 75-74 in the second round of the 1995 NCAA tournament when Tyus Edney banked in the winning shot at the buzzer after a full-court dash with 4.8 seconds to play. UCLA went on to win its record 11th national championship. Edney is now the school’s director of basketball operations.

Missouri is scheduled to play Bucknell on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 at 3 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. Note this is a time change, the game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m.

Staff reporting was also used for this story.


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