The Belmont men’s basketball team defeated Pac-12 powerhouse UCLA in a nail-biter 74-72 on Saturday night at the legendary Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion.
This was the first time these teams faced each other since the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament where UCLA beat Belmont 78-44.
The Belmont Bruins trailed most of the game, but UCLA failed to complete free throws late in the game, which allowed head coach Rick Byrd to regroup and lead Belmont to victory against one of college basketball’s most successful programs.
Belmont was up against a very difficult opponent in UCLA, which was 7-2 going into Saturday’s matchup. UCLA also has some of the country’s top NBA prospects, including sophomores Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes.
Wilkes led his team in points with 20 points Saturday.
Belmont senior Dylan Windler had his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 12 points, and led the team with 15 rebounds. However, the superstar athlete fouled out with 1 minute and 13 seconds left in the game.
Senior Kevin McClain scored the game-winning backdoor layup with just two seconds left on the clock after a perfect pass from freshman Grayson Murphy.
The UCLA Bruins were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 in the first three weeks of the regular season.
A win against a team like UCLA brought Belmont national attention from people like CBS senior sports writer Matt Norlander and announcer Dick Vitale, who both tweeted about Belmont’s upset.
Belmont is off to its best start ever in the team’s Division I era with a record of 8-1.
Belmont will head back home to the Curb Event Center to face another tough opponent in Western Kentucky on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m..