UCLA basketball: Bruins pull off 86-79 upset of Brigham Young
UCLA's search for a quality victory reached fruition Saturday.
The Bruins responded to several second-half pushes by No. 16 Brigham Young to pull out an 86-79 victory in the Wooden Classic at the Honda Center, handing the Cougars their first defeat of the season.
BYU (10-1) cut a 13-point deficit to two midway through the half, then cut a 10-point deficit to five in the final two minutes before UCLA's Reeves Nelson took a pass from Tyler Honeycutt along the baseline and went in for a one-handed dunk with 1 minute 4 seconds left.
Nelson finished with a career-high 23 points and Honeycutt had 17.
The Bruins played the final 15:26 with Joshua Smith having four fouls and the final 10:47 with Honeycutt having four fouls. Neither fouled out.
Smith was a one-man force after re-entering the game with about 10 minutes to play, tipping in his own miss and taking a charge on Brigham Young's Jimmer Fredette that represented the senior guard's fourth foul.
Fredette finished with 25 points. Smith had 15 points and eight rebounds.
The victory snapped a string of five consecutive losses to ranked teams for UCLA (6-4). The Bruins' last win over a ranked team was against No. 22 Washington in 2009 at Pauley Pavilion. Saturday's result also gave the Bruins' NCAA tournament hopes a major boost.