Make room Clippers, make room Lakers. Following a win on Friday against No. 7 Missouri, UCLA is mix of exciting basketball teams in Los Angeles. This is the team we all expected headlined by Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson. Took a month to get going – and get Muhammad to get in shape – but Friday night was the first glimpse of what the Bruins could be this season.
Game of the Night
UCLA 97, No. 13 Missouri 94 OT: Following a difficult season and the start to another difficult season the Bruins took down a ranked opponent giving a lift to a program that needed it. UCLA showed how good they can be when Shabazz Muhammad is in shape. Also Larry Drew and the Wear brothers have been impressive this season following their transfers from North Carolina.
Brown 69, Providence 68: Tucker Halpern hit his eighth 3-pointer with seven seconds to play to give Brown a 69-68 lead. Ed Cooley drew up a good play and got Vincent Council inside the 3-point line but he bobbled the ball and his 3-point try was off the mark and a tip-in attempt came up short. Council went 1-for-2 from the line with 20 seconds to play to keep it a two-point game at 68-66. Halpern ran off a high screen and faded to the corner to get off the late-game shot. LaDonte Henton had a game-high 37 points for Providence.
Gonzaga beats Baylor: Gonzaga has now beaten four Big 12 teams. Following another good win, the Zags goes into what could be their toughest game of the year on the road against Oklahoma State. Baylor got off to a good start, but turned the ball over 14 times and couldn’t get Brady Heslip an open look. The Bears start conference play against Texas on Jan. 2
Brown upsets Providence: Providence started out 8-2, but have not lost two games to both Boston College and Brown. Providence’s loss headlined a bad day for the Catholic 7 with both Villanova and Seton Hall getting scares from NJIT and Stony Brook.
Phil Pressey, Missouri: Despite the loss and a bad shot selection with under 30 seconds left that set up UCLA’s tying score in regulation, Pressey was impressive with 19 points and 19 assists.
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA: The freshman finally had a breakout performance in a big game with 27 points, including seven points in overtime. While Muhammad led the team in scoring, Travis Wear put the game away with a bucket with 12 seconds left. Larry Drew 10 assists and Jordan Adams had a lefty layup that forced the game into overtime.
LaDontae Henton, Providence: Henton picked up the scoring load with Bryce Cotton out. Henton had 37 points, including 6-of-10 from three in a loss to Brown.
Shooters: Kevin Pangos had seven three’s to lead Gonzaga past Baylor. Jordan Hulls shot 6-of-9 from deep to lead Indiana with 20 points in a 93-59 win over Jacksonville.
St. Francis (PA): In a 79-67 loss to Cornell, St. Francis falls to 0-11 on the season. The Red Flash will try and get in the win column on Jan. 3 against Central Connecticut State.
Catholic 7: Providence lost to city rival Brown. Villanova only beat NJIT by 10 and Seton Hall survived a one-point scare from Stony Brook.
Looking ahead to Saturday
No. 4 Louisville vs. Kentucky, 4 p.m.
No. 1 Duke vs. Santa Clara, noon
No. 2 Michigan vs. Central Michigan, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Kansas vs. American, 8 p.m.
No. 9 Syracuse vs. Alcorn State, 7 p.m.
No. 10 Ohio State vs. Chicago State, 4:30 p.m.
No. 12 Illinois vs. Auburn, 2:15 p.m.
No. 14 Florida vs. Air Fore, 4:30 p.m.
No. 16 Creighton vs. Evansville, 8:05 p.m.
No. 18 Butler @ Vanderbilt, 8 p.m.
No. 20 UNLV @ North Carolina, 2 p.m.
No. 23 NC State vs. Western Michigan, noon
No. 25 Kansas State vs. UMKC, 7 p.m.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne