Dec. 17, 2003
By Beth Harris
Casey Cook made two free throws with 18.4 seconds left and UC Santa Barbara surprised UCLA 61-60 Wednesday night.
The loss was not the way the Bruins (3-2) wanted to tune up for Saturday's home game against Michigan State. It was their fourth close game of the season, having beaten Vermont by one point and Loyola Marymount by three points in overtime last week. They lost to Kentucky by two points.
Cook led the Gauchos with 15 points and Josh Davis added 13.
T.J. Cummings led UCLA with 14 points just hours after finding out that he passed all of his classes during the recently completed fall quarter and was eligible.
Cummings came off the bench to score 12 points in 14 minutes of the first half, when the Bruins' largest lead was eight. The Gauchos closed to 35-31 at halftime.
The Bruins led 41-36 when the Gauchos ran off nine unanswered points to take their first lead since early in the game. A 3-pointer by Joe See tied the game at 41, then Bryan Whitehead scored off a steal and Cameron Goettsche scored as Santa Barbara led 45-41.
The teams traded baskets until the Gauchos scored twice in a row, including a drive through the wide-open lane by Chrisman Oliver, to take a 55-50 lead.
The Bruins trailed by one when Cummings missed a layup and Bozeman unsuccessfully tried to tip it in. But freshman Trevor Ariza stole the ball at the other end, ran the court and dunked for a 61-60 lead with 40 seconds left.
Davis missed a jumper in the lane, but Whitehead controlled the rebound and Cook got fouled by Cummings on the play. He made both to win the game.
UCLA reserve point guard Ryan Walcott didn't play because he had back spasms in practice Tuesday, meaning the Bruins still haven't had their entire roster available this season.