It was just one basket in California's 73-63 Pac-12 Conference victory over UCLA on Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Sports Arena but a quick up-and-down pair of possessions but it served as a microcosm for UCLA's tumultuous season.
Trailing big, trying to make something happen, UCLA guard Tyler Lamb pressed and missed a layup. As quick as his miss, California pushed the other way, only this time Allen Crabbe made his layup.
It was just one missed layup - the Bruins actually missed 12 total for the game - but it was a clear example of the Bruins coming up short in crucial moments.
"Disappointing, obviously," UCLA senior Jerime Anderson said. "We saw where we could have been and where we're at now."
UCLA (14-11, 7-6) is now at the point of no return in its season. Win the Pac-12 Conference tournament or don't reach the NCAA Tournament for the third time in Coach Ben Howland's nine years in Westwood.
The Bruins finished with a season-low seven assists, finishing with none in the first half. Bruins players pointed to those missed layups less than anything specific Cal did on defense.
"It was just a tough night," said David Wear, who finished with 10 points on 4 of 13 shooting and just one rebound. "Missed a lot of chippy shots around the hoop we normally make and we should make."
Wear took fault with his play afterward, calling it, "unacceptable to only have one rebound."
Cal (20-6, 10-3) used the pick-and-roll on offense and secured a 36-31 rebounding advantage to build a lead that grew to as large as 17 in the second half. Sophomore guard Justin Cobbs, who played high school basketball in Torrance, had a game-high 18 points and five assists.
Cobbs, Crabbe and senior Jorge Gutierrez all scored in double figures. Crabbe had 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Gutierrez finished with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Lazeric Jones and Anderson led the Bruins with 16 points each. Josh Smith had 10 points and nine rebounds in a season-high 29 minutes.
Anderson spearheaded UCLA's best run of the second half, scoring nine of his points during a critical 12-2 run that cut the Bears lead to seven points. But the Bruins couldn't get closer.
"We had some turnovers at the end, they capitalized on them," Jones said. "That was pretty much it."