Texas Edges UCLA In Final Seconds

Monday, December 3rd 2007, 8:42 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The city's two college basketball teams did not have a good day defending their home courts against ranked opponents.

Both No. 2 UCLA and 22nd-ranked Southern California took their games played 15 miles apart down to the final seconds and lost.

First, Mario Chalmers hit a 3-pointer and a free throw in the last 20 seconds and No. 4 Kansas beat the Trojans 59-55.

Then across town, Damion James dunked with 8 seconds remaining and No. 8 Texas handed the Bruins their first loss 63-61 in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

``That wasn't fun,'' UCLA freshman Kevin Love said. ``It could be a good wake-up call for us.''

James and D.J. Augustin finished with 19 points each, and the Longhorns (7-0) survived their closest game yet after winning their first six by at least 15 points. James had 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.

``Coach said at halftime they were going to come back and go at us,'' James said. ``We are just a hard-nosed team. We just fight hard.''

UCLA became the highest-ranked opponent Texas has beaten in a true road game in school history. Their previous best win came over No. 4 Memphis in January 2006.

UCLA star freshman Kevin Love finished with 11 points and five rebounds after taking just six shots and getting benched for the final 2 minutes.

``I need to seek the ball out more,'' he said. ``I only played 24 minutes, but five rebounds on my part is unacceptable. I should at least have 10 rebounds every game.''

With Darren Collison guarding him, Augustin gave up the ball to James in the low post.

``I stumbled, but I knew Damion was down there,'' he said. ``I threw it up for him to rebound and put it up or finish it with a dunk and that's what he did.''

Collison played 39 minutes, his most in two games, and blamed himself for the last-second loss.

``It tells us we're not ready. We can play a much better defensive game,'' he said.

UCLA's first loss of the season ended the Bruins' 25-game home winning streak. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 14 points, and Collison added 12 in his first start for the Bruins (7-1), who led by four with 3 minutes remaining.

In the only other Top 25 game on Sunday, Arizona beat No. 9 Texas A&M 78-67.

Next up for UCLA is Davidson, which has taken No. 1 North Carolina and seventh-ranked Duke down to the wire already this season.

Mbah a Moute missed a 3-pointer in front of UCLA's bench at the buzzer.

``I shot the ball knowing it was going to go in, it just didn't go in,'' he said.

With the score tied at 61, Mbah a Moute was fouled by Connor Atchley. The UCLA player's first attempt spun out of the basket, setting up the Longhorns' final possession.

Josh Shipp added 11 points for the Bruins, who outscored Texas 36-26 in the second half after being stymied by its zone early.

``It's definitely hard to believe,'' he said. ``The way we started out, it's not surprising. We didn't come out with a great level of intensity.''

UCLA opened the second half on a 16-3 run that produced its first lead since early in the game. Mbah a Moute had six points and Russell Westbrook five, including a basket off Love's outlet pass and a 3-pointer that beat the shot clock. Shipp followed with a 3-pointer to make it 41-40.

From there, the teams traded baskets, with neither leading by more than four points.

Texas outscored the Bruins 26-2, including 17 in a row, in the first half.

At USC, Chalmers hit a 3-pointer from about 26 feet to keep Kansas undefeated at 7-0. That gave the Jayhawks a five-point lead with 20 seconds left.

``The original plan was to get the ball into the post, but they kind of sagged back and I saw there were only five seconds left (on the shot clock),'' Chalmers said. ``I got the ball back and just shot it and I was fortunate for it to go.''

His 3 came after USC pulled to 55-53 on Davon Jefferson's two free throws with 54 seconds left. Chalmers added a free throw with 3 seconds remaining to cap the scoring.

``They ought to give Chalmers four points from where that shot came from,'' USC coach Tim Floyd said. ``The kid made a big shot.''

Freshman O.J. Mayo led the Trojans with 19 points, but was just 6-for-21 from the floor. Jefferson, also a freshman, added 17 points.

Arizona 78, No. 9 Texas A&M 67

At Tucson, Ariz., Jerryd Bayless scored a season-high 26 points, and Arizona rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit to hand the Aggies their first loss.

Chase Budinger added 19 points and Jordan Hill had 13 for the Wildcats (5-2), who won for only the second time in their past eight home games against major-conference opponents.

Josh Carter scored 17 points and Joseph Jones had 13 for Texas A&M (7-1).