Bruins Too Much for UAB, 86-72

Box Score

Nov. 29, 1997

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Toby Bailey exploded for 20 of his 28 points in the final 6:45 and freshman Baron Davis added 22 as sixth-ranked UCLA rallied for an 86-72 victory over UAB at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage. The Bruins (2-1) hit 67 percent (18-of-27) of their shots in the second half while limiting the Blazers to 20 points over the final 15 minutes. They erased an 18-point deficit and finished fifth in the eight-team tournament. J.R. Henderson added 21 points and 13 rebounds for UCLA, which forged a 70-70 tie with 2:23 to play when Davis picked off an errant pass at midcourt and went in for an uncontested dunk. Bailey nailed a three-pointer 16 seconds later to put the Bruins ahead to stay. "In the second half we focused on eight five-minute mini battles," explained UCLA coach Steve Lavin. "We went to man-to-man defense in the last 14 minutes of the game and that's where things started to turn." The Blazers called timeout with 1:54 to go, but when play resumed, Bailey went wild. Over the final 89 seconds, the senior scored the next 11 points, giving him 14 straight overall. Davis scored the final bucket on a layup with two seconds remaining, capping a 16-2 run to end the game. Willie Mitchell scored 19 points and Damon Cobb added 15 for UAB (2-4), which led 52-34 midway through the third quarter but fell to 0-3 against ranked opponents. Bailey, Davis and Henderson accounted for all but 15 of the Bruins' points and combined to go 22-of-41 from the field. UCLA led by as many as 11 early before the Blazers rallied for a 23-23 tie three minutes into the second quarter. Cobb and Mitchell led UAB on an 18-5 tear that gave the Blazers a 42-28 halftime advantage. "We came out strong then after the first 10 minutes of the game we hit a fatigue wall," said Lavin. The Blazers virtually shut down UCLA over the final 7 1/2 minutes of the second period, holding them to just two field goals. The Bruins scored just nine points in the second quarter and shot 32 percent (9-of-28) in the half. "Defensively, I couldn't ask for anything more than our first half," said UAB coach Murry Bartow. "When they scored 58 points in the second half they turned it up another level." UAB stayed hot in the third quarter, building its 18-point cushion on Cobb's three-pointer with five minutes to play. But Davis began to come alive, scoring six points as the Bruins sliced the margin to 56-50 with a 16-4 run. UAB's Fred Williams, who had 11 points and seven rebounds, sank a jumper to extend the lead to 63-55 with 8:32 to play, but Bailey and Davis combined to score 16 of UCLA's next 18 points to give the Bruins a 73-70 edge with 2:07 remaining. UAB, which was outscored 58-30 in the second half, shot 43 percent (25-of-58) from the field and committed 16 turnovers.