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Men's Basketball Season Tickets


Jelani Slams Home Two in Return

 
UCLA Hangs on for 74-69 Victory in McCoy's Return

Dec. 30, 1997

Box

By BETH HARRIS
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Excuse UCLA for not considering Illinois' Kevin Turner ascoring threat.

It's a new role for the junior, who averaged 10 points last season afteronly scoring four points his freshman and sophomore years combined.

Turner showed he's to be taken seriously Tuesday night, scoring acareer-high 32 points, including a school-record eight 3-pointers in theIllini's 74-69 loss to the ninth-ranked Bruins (9-1).

"We had a hard time containing him, but we expect guys to always try tohave career nights coming in here playing us," said J.R. Henderson, who ledthe Bruins to their ninth straight win with 22 points. "He just wanted to winreal bad."

The Illini (8-5) nearly did just that, taking a 66-63 lead on Turner's final3-pointer with 4:39 remaining.

Illinois matched its season high with 12 3-pointers on 24 attempts. Turnertied the Pauley Pavilion record for most 3-pointers made in a game set by DonLeary of Cal State-Fullerton on Dec. 30, 1992.

"Someone needed to step up. Coach ran a couple plays for me and the shotswent down," Turner said.

The Illini rallied from a 17-point deficit early in the second half on theshooting of Turner and freshman Awvee Storey, who scored all of his 11 pointsover the final 8:42 when they tied the game three times.

"In the second half, Kevin and Awvee did a remarkable job, they really tookthe fight to them," Illini coach Lon Kruger said. "UCLA totally controlledthe first half and in the second half we made a good run."

Toby Bailey, who added 18 points, hit three straight free throws andrestored UCLA's lead to one point before Turner's final basket gave the Illinitheir last lead, 69-68 with 2:25 to go.

"He was doing a good job of shooting over our smaller guards. When I got onhim and made him shoot over me, it was a little harder for him to score," saidBailey, whose defense helped alter Turner's final 3-point attempt. "The changeof pace between me and the little guards we had on him, it kind of affected hisshot a little bit."

Freshman Baron Davis had 10 points for the Bruins, who made their last sevenfree throw attempts. His two free throws had UCLA clinging to a 70-69 lead with2:16 to go.

Davis committed a foul with 23 seconds to go. Illinois inbounded the ball,but Turner missed the 3-point attempt with Bailey leaping at him. Hendersongrabbed the rebound and got fouled. He made both shots for a 72-69 lead.

"It's disappointing," Turner said. "We did a great job fighting. Awveestepped up and played very well in this type of environment. We learned we canhang with these ballclubs, we just have to play for 40 minutes."

Jelani McCoy made his season debut for the Bruins, having missed the firstnine games because of a suspension for violating unspecified team and athleticdepartment rules.

The 6-foot-10 center made an immediate impact with two straight dunks and ahuge blocked shot. He finished with seven points and three rebounds in 14minutes.

"It was about time I got back out there and started playing again. I'vebeen sitting on my butt for a couple of months and it kind of got old," hesaid. "It felt good to get out there on my feet."

The Bruins open Pacific-10 Conference play Saturday on the road againstdefending national champion Arizona.

"These games just prepare us for the tests ahead," Henderson said. "Everygame from here on out we expect it to be a close one."


 

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