No. 7 Missouri falls to UCLA in OT thriller

No. 7 Missouri falls to UCLA in OT thriller

LOS ANGELES – Not since Dec. 9, 2009 had a Mizzou Tigers’ team tallied a loss in the month of December. Since that date, the Tigers had rattled off 25 consecutive wins when playing in the final month of the year.

That streak came to an end; however, when the unranked UCLA Bruins took the No. 7 ranked Tigers into overtime and defeated them, 97-94.

Still tied 88-88 in overtime, Shabazz Muhammad shot a 3-pointer to give the Bruins a 91-88 lead, with three minutes left. But the Tigers responded with one of their own from Jabari Brown, knotting the score at 91 apiece. Brown finished the game with 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Phil Pressey was awarded with the assist.

Pressey, who had 12 assists in the first half and finished with 19 points and 19 assists, passed Melvin Booker’s record (13) for single-game-assists in Mizzou basketball history. It was Pressey’s tenth career double-digit assist game

and fifth career double-double.

The Tigers’ Keion Bell and Laurence Bowers also contributed with 17 points each. Earnest Ross had 16 points, including 3-4 from the free-throw line in overtime.

Despite controlling the rebounding game, 50-36, the Tigers couldn’t contain the Bruins’ Muhammad, who tied his career high of 27 points. Both Wear brothers, David (16) and Travis (22) also scored double-digits for UCLA.

After Ross’s free throws briefly gave the Tigers a 93-91 lead with just less than two minutes left in overtime, UCLA answered with a free throw and 3-pointer of their own, off of the rebound, regaining the lead, 95-93.

With 12 seconds left, Travis Ware’s jumper put the Bruins up 97-94. Pressey’s 3-point shot missed and a last second attempt by Bowers fell short of the basket.

The win for UCLA was their first against a top 10 nonconference opponent, since November 20, 2007, when they beat No. 10 Michigan State, 68-63. The Bruins, at that time, were ranked No. 1.

The Bruins hold the overall record against the Tigers, 6-1, with the lone Tigers win coming back on March 21, 2002, when they defeated the Bruins, 82-73.

The Tigers will return home on Jan.5 to face Bucknell. Tipoff time has been changed from 6 p.m. to 3 p.m.