March 24, 2006
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Luc Richard Mbah a Moute provided a shocking ending to Adam Morrison's amazing season.
Mbah a Moute scored underneath with 10 seconds left and the second-seeded Bruins scored the final 11 points of the game to knock out Morrison and third-seeded Gonzaga 73-71 Thursday night to advance to the regional final.
Morrison, Gonzaga's shaggy-haired star, made two free throws with 3:26 to go, giving him 24 on the night and the Bulldogs (29-4) a 71-62 lead. But the Bruins (30-6) didn't wilt.
Mbah a Moute scored six of the final 11 points and got a key steal in the final seconds to seal the win and send UCLA to its first regional final since 1997. The Bruins will play Saturday against Memphis (33-3), which beat Bradley 80-64 in the first semifinal of the Oakland regional. The Tigers beat the Bruins 88-80 in November.
Morrison put his hands on his head and leaned over, overcome with emotion, Mbah a Moute stole the ball from Derek Raivio with 2.6 seconds left, fighting tears in what was probably his final game in a Zags uniform. He is expected to turn pro.
J.P. Batista missed a desperation 15-footer at the buzzer and fell into the Zags' bench, where coach Mark Few helped him up.
When the buzzer sounded, UCLA senior Cedric Bozeman ran around the court with the ball in his hands - Ryan Hollins right with him.
Hollins and Afflalo went to help up Morrison, who was spread on the floor at midcourt. Few then came to hug the crying Morrison.