Nov. 10, 2000
With a game under his belt, UCLA freshman T.J. Cummings looks to leadtheBruins to their first win of the season Friday when they take on 12th-rankedKentucky in the consolation game of the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic atMadisonSquare Garden.
Cummings, the son of former NBA star Terry Cummings, led the17th-rankedBruins with 24 points in a 99-98 loss to Kansas in the opening game onThursday. The 6-foot-8 forward was 8-for-10 from the floor and grabbed sevenrebounds while breaking Don MacLean's school record for points scored by afreshman in his first game.
'From the first day he walked on the court at Pauley Pavilion forpracticehe has shown a tremendous work ethic and attitude,' UCLA coach Steve Lavinsaid. 'He comes from a great family and understands the game.'
Despite Cummings' heroics, the Bruins could not pull out a win becauseofpoor free-throw shooting down the stretch. UCLA forward Matt Barnes missedthree of four foul shots in the final minute to negate an exciting comebackearlier in the game.
'We kept our poise and kept our composure, the way a team with nineplayersback should,' Lavin said. 'They came out fast and we did a poor job ontransition defense and that's how they got the early lead. They came outfastand then both teams had the game come to a screeching halt in the secondhalf.'
Kentucky, meanwhile, also lost a heartbreaker on Thursday with a 62-61lossto St. John's.
The Wildcats managed only one field goal in the final five minutes andwere4-for-11 from the foul line over the last 7:13. They did not score againaftertaking a 61-57 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
'We had our chances to put the game away but we couldn't hit a freethrowdown the stretch,' Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said.
One bright spot in the loss for the Wildcats was Marquis Estill, wholedKentucky with 15 points. Estill, a 6-9 sophomore forward from Richmond, Ky.,redshirted last season after undergoing surgery on both knees.
Kentucky leads this all-time series 5-2.