Cummings nets 14 in loss to UCSB

Updated: December 18, 2003, 10:34 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos became the latest in a string of teams to come into UCLA's home court and jump around in celebration at the buzzer.

Casey Cook made two free throws with 18.4 seconds left and the Gauchos surprised the Bruins 61-60 Wednesday night.

The Gauchos (5-2) joined mid-major schools San Diego, Northern Arizona, Pepperdine, Cal State Northridge and Gonzaga as teams who have beaten the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion in recent seasons.

A loud and loyal contingent of fans came down from Santa Barbara, where UCLA coach Ben Howland grew up, to see the Gauchos win for the first time in 19 meetings.

"It does make it sweet to come into Pauley and beat one of the most storied programs in NCAA history,'' Gauchos coach Bob Williams said. "I liked the fact that we had to win with a stop. We threw our bodies around and played tough defense."

The loss was not the way the Bruins (3-2) wanted to tune up for Saturday's home game against Michigan State. It was their fourth close game of the season, having beaten Vermont by one point and Loyola Marymount by three points in overtime last week. They lost to Kentucky by two points.

"They outhustled us. They were diving on the floor for the ball and we weren't,'' Howland said. "I don't remember one time where we dove for the ball and I remember 10 times they were sprawled on the floor.''

Cook led the Gauchos with 15 points and Josh Davis added 13.

T.J. Cummings led UCLA with 14 points just hours after finding out that he passed all of his classes during the recently completed fall quarter and was eligible.

"I was really excited. I really love to play the game,'' he said. "But it was a heartbreaker because we really wanted to get this game."

Cummings had just one rebound in 26 minutes, and the Gauchos outrebounded UCLA 25-20.

"I should have been all over that,'' he said.

Dijon Thompson added 13 points and Cedric Bozeman had 12 points, but he missed a layup with 2.4 seconds left that would have won the game.

"We didn't rebound well. That's why we lost the game,'' Bozeman said.

The Bruins committed 17 turnovers -- three more than their average.

Cummings came off the bench to score 12 points in 14 minutes of the first half, when the Bruins' largest lead was eight. The Gauchos closed to 35-31 at halftime.

The Bruins led 41-36 when the Gauchos ran off nine unanswered points to take their first lead since early in the game. A 3-pointer by Joe See tied the game at 41, then Bryan Whitehead scored off a steal and Cameron Goettsche scored as Santa Barbara led 45-41.

"When Joe See hit that three from the corner, it was big. It gave us the momentum to win,'' Cook said. "We knew they were good rebounders and athletic, so we focused on crashing the boards and getting on the offensive boards hard."

The teams traded baskets until the Gauchos scored twice in a row, including a drive through the wide-open lane by Chrisman Oliver, to take a 55-50 lead.

"There were some real mental breakdowns by us,'' Howland said.

The Bruins trailed by one when Cummings missed a layup and Bozeman unsuccessfully tried to tip it in. But freshman Trevor Ariza stole the ball at the other end, ran the court and dunked for a 61-60 lead with 40 seconds left.

Davis missed a jumper in the lane, but Whitehead controlled the rebound and Cook got fouled by Cummings on the play. He made both to win the game. The Gauchos surprised the Bruins with man-to-man defense on the final play, when UCLA already was out of timeouts.

Santa Barbara senior guard Branduinn Fullove, last year's Big West player of the year, had four points in 18 minutes in his second game back from a left ankle injury.

The Gauchos also were without senior guard Nick Jones, who will return Sunday from an eight-game suspension.

UCLA reserve point guard Ryan Walcott didn't play because he had back spasms in practice Tuesday, meaning the Bruins still haven't had their entire roster available this season.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press