Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - A free throw by Reeves Nelson with 14.2 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as the UCLA Bruins slipped by the UC Irvine Anteaters, 74-73, in non-conference action at Pauley Pavilion. Nelson finished with eight points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Bruins (8-4) as they won their fifth straight game. Handling most of the offense for UCLA were Malcolm Lee and Lazeric Jones with 20 points apiece, followed by Joshua Smith with 14 and eight boards.
The Anteaters (6-6), losers of two in a row, were paced by Eric Wise with 16 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out. Pavol Losonsky accounted for 15 points, Darren Moore 14 and Mike Wilder 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench. UCI had a tough time getting its offense into gear in the first half, shooting just 33.3 percent from the field en route to a 39-29 deficit at the break.
In the second half the Anteaters fought their way back with 56.3 percent accuracy from the floor and 5-of-7 behind the three-point line to close the gap. After Nelson knocked down one of his two free throws to give the Bruins a 74-70 advantage with just over 14 seconds remaining, Moore came down and banked a three-pointer off the glass to cut the deficit to one with 7.4 seconds to play.
At the other end of the floor Tyler Lamb was sent to the charity stripe with 6.2 seconds remaining, but with a pair of misses the door remained open for the Anteaters. With no timeouts left, Patrick Rembert dribbled down the left side but was pinned in against the sideline as UCI failed to get off a shot as time expired. UCLA managed to pick up the narrow win despite shooting just 12-of-23 at the free-throw line, 4-of-13 at the stripe down the stretch, and turning the ball over 17 times.
The Bruins were playing without Tyler Honeycutt who suffered a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder two days ago against Montana State and is currently listed as day-to-day. Honeycutt is listed as the top scorer and rebounder for the program through 11 games with 14.9 ppg and 8.0 rpg.
For more UCLA hoops news, be sure to read Bruins Nation.