No. 18 UCLA falls to Missouri, 80-71
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — UCLA appeared on its way toward another victory before the Bruins’ prolific offense dried up.
Playing on an opponent’s home court for the first time, the No. 18 Bruins lost 80-71 at Missouri on Saturday and set a new season low in points. After making 15 of its 30 attempts in the first half, UCLA (8-1) only converted 8 of 31 attempts — including 0-for-8 from behind the arc — after the break.
“I thought in the first half we looked really good coming out on our first road trip, but the second half was a totally different team,” first-year UCLA coach Steve Alford said.
Jordan Adams scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, while Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine each added 13 points for the Bruins, who entered the matchup averaging a Pac-12-leading 90.6 points.
“I think a couple guys, including myself, took some tough shots, which is not fair to our teammates,” Anderson said. “It made it much easier on our opponents. That’s not the basketball we play. We’ve played though big games and we’ve just got to get better at that.”
Missouri (9-0) trailed 43-35 at halftime after committing 12 turnovers and shooting 41.7 percent from the field, but used back-to-back fastbreak dunks by Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown to trail 49-45 with 16:44 remaining. After UCLA’s Tony Parker converted a free throw, Ross then hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Tigers their first lead since 11:20 left in the first half.
“As I continue to shoot and see shots go in, it makes the basket get a little bit bigger,” Ross said. “When I’m in a rhythm, I just think I’m in a pretty good groove and I just continue to keep shooting.”
Brown’s 3-pointer five minutes later expanded Missouri’s lead to 67-62, and UCLA couldn’t get any closer.
Brown scored 22 points and Jordan Clarkson added 21 for Missouri. Ross scored 20 points, while Johnathan Williams III grabbed 15 rebounds to help the Tigers take a 47-30 advantage on the boards and remain the only unbeaten team in the Southeastern Conference. The team is off to its best start since the 2006-07 season.
“They just beat us there first,” Adams said. “We tried our best to get every rebound. Some didn’t bounce our way. Hopefully with practice, we will continue to get better with that.”
UCLA committed more turnovers (11) than assists (9) for the first time this season.
“Our offense just didn’t move,” Alford said. “The ball stopped a lot. We were in a pretty good rhythm in the first half, and for whatever reason, we stopped moving the ball offensively in the second half.”
The teams traded baskets for the first 10 minutes before a 3-pointer by Bryce Alford sparked a 14-0 run that gave the Bruins a 30-17 lead with 6:47 left before the break. Missouri answered with the next 11 points, but UCLA countered eight straight for a 38-28 lead. LaVine finished the run with a thunderous windmill dunk.
The win extended Missouri’s NCAA-best, home-court winning streak to 24 games and the Tigers’ run of 79 consecutive wins against non-conference opponents at Mizzou Arena. The victory was the first in that stretch against a nationally ranked team.
Both schools played in the Las Vegas Invitational last week and were selected co-champions after defeating Nevada and Northwestern in Nevada. UCLA and Missouri had agreed not to play each other ahead of Saturday’s matchup.
The game ended a home-and-home series after UCLA defeated the Tigers 97-94 in overtime at Pauley Pavilion last Dec. 28. Shabazz Muhammed finished with 27 points in the game for the Bruins, who overcame a nine-point deficit in the final 4 1/2 minutes of regulation.