Missouri men's basketball loses Hollywood thriller to UCLA

Friday, December 28, 2012 | 11:30 p.m. CST; updated 12:40 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 29, 2012
Missouri's Phil Pressey, right, and UCLA's Larry Drew II fight for a loose ball in Friday night's game at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Pressey had 19 points and a school-record 19 assists in the 97-94 overtime loss, with Drew II, the son of former Tigers standout Larry Drew Sr., getting the assist on the winning basket in overtime.

LOS ANGELES — A description of Missouri's 97-94 overtime loss to UCLA could read like comments on a movie poster.

Suspenseful, dramatic, full of high-flying stunts and heart-pounding action down to the last second.

It was a very Hollywood experience Friday night in the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion for the No. 7-ranked Missouri basketball team.

Fancy video boards lined the rafters above the arena. The new speaker system made the building rumble like the special effects in an action thriller.

The audience was seated in blue seats more commonly found at a movie house, complete with soft cushions, arm rests and cup holders. Pauley Pavilion felt more like a high-end cinema complex than a traditional college basketball arena.

Before the feature started on Nell and John Wooden Court, a UCLA announcer told the audience the story of Tyus Edney's buzzer-beating shot against Missouri in the Sweet 16 of the 1995 NCAA Tournament.

Then the spotlights focused on the hardwood and the marquee matchup began, producing numerous highlights.

The game was filled with season and career highs. Missouri point guard Phil Pressey had 19 points and a career-high 19 assists. Missouri guard Keion Bell had a season-high 17 points in his hometown.

Bell's play helped Missouri respond to the Bruins' early runs, drawing the MIZ-ZOU chant from those Missouri fans among the 11,854 at Pauley Pavilion.

The teams traded scoring runs throughout the game, 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.

Acrobatics were plentiful against the Bruins. Missouri forward Laurence Bowers, Bell and guard Earnest Ross all had multiple impressive dunks in Missouri's response to UCLA's runs.

Ross had a particularly spectacular dunk, a one-handed jam off of a steal in the second half that brought the Missouri crowd to its feet, waving gold towels and Missouri T-shirts.

But Tigers fans hoping to see a happy ending were disappointed.

A layup from UCLA's Jordan Adams tied the game at 88 with 11 seconds to go in regulation. With four fouls to give, the Bruins chose to use them up rather than allow Missouri to run an offensive set.

Adams grabbed Pressey and flung him to the ground with 4 seconds left. Pressey stayed down briefly before getting up, while Missouri coach Frank Haith pleaded his case for a flagrant foul then called a timeout.

Missouri's Jabari Brown missed a jump shot with the clock winding down, and UCLA's Travis Wear came up with a block when Bell went for the offensive rebound as regulation expired.

From there, UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad, who tied his career high with 27 points, took over the spotlight.

Muhammad hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:01 left in overtime to help the Bruins (10-3) earn the upset. Bruins guard Larry Drew II found Muhammad on the right perimeter and hit him with the pass that led to the winning basket, his second 3-pointer of overtime.

After Wear hit a jumper from the key for UCLA with 12 seconds to go, Missouri (10-2) failed to execute in the waning seconds.

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.

"My throat went into my stomach on that last 3-point Hail Mary by Bowers," UCLA coach Ben Howland said.

The Tigers outrebounded UCLA 50-36, but they made 17 turnovers that led to 36 Bruins points.

"We had an eight-point lead with three minutes to go in the game and we didn't execute very well," Haith said. "We made some really gambling plays and that really cost us."

At this show, it wasn't the Hollywood type ending Missouri had expected.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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