Senior guard Kevin McClain scored 20 points, including a go-ahead layup with 2 seconds remaining, to give visiting Belmont a 74-72 upset victory Saturday over UCLA.
In a battle of teams nicknamed Bruins, freshman guard Grayson Murphy and senior guard/forward Dylan Windler each added 12 points as Belmont (8-1) took advantage of UCLA’s struggles at the free-throw line to pull out the victory.
Belmont neutralized UCLA’s size advantage by committing fouls inside down the stretch. UCLA went just 9-of-24 (37.5 percent) from the free-throw line in the second half and 12-of-28 (42.9 percent) in the game.
UCLA sophomore guard Kris Wilkes scored 19 of his 20 points in the first half. Wilkes was 8-of-11 from the field in the first half, but went 0-of-5 from the field and 0-of-3 from 3-point range after halftime.
Sophomore guard Jaylen Hands added 12 points and seven assists for UCLA (7-3). Hands’ UCLA-record streak of three consecutive games with double-digit assists came to an end.
Belmont trailed by as much as 12 points in the first half and was down most of the second half, finally taking a lead 67-66 when Murphy made a 3-pointer with 2:45 remaining.
Hands made a 3-pointer with 33 seconds remaining to give UCLA a 72-71 lead, but McClain was able to work his way inside for his game-winning layup. Freshman forward Caleb Hollander, who finished with six points, made a final free throw with under a second remaining.
Junior guard Prince Ali and freshman forward Cody Riley each scored 10 points for UCLA, which lost at home for the first time since Jan. 12 against Colorado in a Pac-12 conference game.
Belmont was outrebounded 24-15 in the first half, but ended the game matching UCLA with 44 rebounds each. UCLA also had a 24-24 advantage with points in the paint in the first half, but with all the fouls inside in the second half it was Belmont that finished with a 32-30 advantage in the paint.
Windler finished with 15 rebounds for Belmont, which is now 1-1 against UCLA. The only other meeting was in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Belmont is now 2-7 against members of the Pac-12 conference.
—Field Level Media