Nov. 10, 2000
With a game under his belt, UCLA freshman T.J. Cummings looks to lead the Bruins to their first win of the season Friday when they take on 12th-ranked Kentucky in the consolation game of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Cummings, the son of former NBA star Terry Cummings, led the 17th-ranked Bruins with 24 points in a 99-98 loss to Kansas in the opening game on Thursday. The 6-foot-8 forward was 8-for-10 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds while breaking Don MacLean's school record for points scored by a freshman in his first game.
"From the first day he walked on the court at Pauley Pavilion for practice he has shown a tremendous work ethic and attitude," UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. "He comes from a great family and understands the game."
Despite Cummings' heroics, the Bruins could not pull out a win because of poor free-throw shooting down the stretch. UCLA forward Matt Barnes missed three of four foul shots in the final minute to negate an exciting comeback earlier in the game.
"We kept our poise and kept our composure, the way a team with nine players back should," Lavin said. "They came out fast and we did a poor job on transition defense and that's how they got the early lead. They came out fast and then both teams had the game come to a screeching halt in the second half."
Kentucky, meanwhile, also lost a heartbreaker on Thursday with a 62-61 loss to St. John's.
The Wildcats managed only one field goal in the final five minutes and were 4-for-11 from the foul line over the last 7:13. They did not score again after taking a 61-57 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
"We had our chances to put the game away but we couldn't hit a free throw down the stretch," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.
One bright spot in the loss for the Wildcats was Marquis Estill, who led Kentucky with 15 points. Estill, a 6-9 sophomore forward from Richmond, Ky., redshirted last season after undergoing surgery on both knees.
Kentucky leads this all-time series 5-2.