Wildcats fight UCLA gamely, fall short 73-68

#5 UCLA broke out of the gate fast, building a 26-9 lead before Wildcats fans could say, "Aloha." The Wildcats gamely fought their way back into the game, and Cats trailed just 67-65 with under 40 seconds to play, but the Bruins hung on for the win. The final was 73-68.

#5 UCLA broke out of the gate fast, building a 26-9 lead before Wildcats fans could say, "Aloha." The Wildcats gamely fought their way back into the game, and actually held a slim lead at two points in the game. But in the end, it was just too much Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Lorenzo Mata. The Cats trailed just 67-65 with under 40 seconds to play, but the Bruins hung on for the win. The final was 73-68.

The Bruins jumped out to a quick lead behind several Kentucky miscues and terrific play by Arron Afflalo, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Darren Collison. A 10-4 lead quickly spread to 15-6, then 26-9. UK's four freshmen would keep Kentucky within striking distance. Perry Stevenson, Michael Porter, Jodie Meeks and Derrick Jasper would score 25 of Kentucky's 30 point in the first half as the Wildcats drew to within eight at the break.

In the second half, Kentucky's veteran players would take over and continue to whittle the Bruin lead away. Ramel Bradley connected on a three pointer to pull the Cats to within five at 40-35. Less than a minute later Bradley hit a pair of free throws and the Cats trailed by only three. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alfred Aboya would each score a basket to widen the Bruin margin back to seven at 45-38 at the 15:44 mark.

The Cats came back once again behind buckets by Stevenson, Morris and Bradley. Finally, Joe Crawford hit a three point shot at the 11:50 mark to knot the game at 48. Jasper would put the Cats ahead by two from the free throw line a moment later.

The game stayed nip and tuck for the rest of the way. However, the Bruins managed a five point lead at 2:22 when Morris missed a jump shot, which Mata rebounded and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored on the UCLA end.

Kentucky would have one final chance to tie or take the lead with just 32 seconds remaining. But Ramel Bradley would bobble the ball and Collison would make the steal leading to a Mbah a Moute dunk that would effectively close out the night for Kentucky.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute would finish with 18 points. Joe Crawford led Kentucky with 16.


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