UCLA lost by only two points in the first round of the Maui Invitational in a game they could and should have won.
This was a game that UCLA was in control of for most of the game but the Golden Eagles made a second-half run to defeat the Bruins.
In a thrilling matchup at the Maui Invitational, No. 4 Marquette edged out UCLA by a narrow margin of 71-69. The game was closely contested throughout, with both teams showcasing their offensive prowess.
Marquette’s clutch three-point shooting and timely contributions from Sean Jones and David Joplin proved to be the difference in their narrow victory over UCLA. Sebastian Mack’s impressive performance for the Bruins highlights their promising young talent, while Marquette’s resilience and ability to close out tight games demonstrate their potential as a top contender this season.
Let’s take a look at the three quick takeaways from UCLA’s very close loss to Marquette.
UCLA let multiple critical leads dwindle as Marquette took the lead in the game.
The Bruins played very well early on as they had a 23-15 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half. However, Marquette shortened that lead to only being down three points with 5:45 left before halftime. UCLA led from 17:44 on and went into halftime with a five-point lead.
Going into halftime, the Bruins were up 35-30 and UCLA continued to hold the lead in the second half. In the first five minutes of the second half, the Bruins increased their lead to ten points. Then around the twelve and a half mark, the Golden Eagles took a 46-45 lead. Marquette would increase their lead to five points with 8:40 remaining in the game.
UCLA would tie the game up at 59 points each with six minutes remaining in the game. However, Marquette would take the lead and build it up to a five-point lead with just over four minutes remaining in the game. However, the Bruins would tie the game with just over three minutes until the end of regulation.
The Bruins would take the lead on an Adem Bona-made layup with 53 seconds left. However, Marquette would make a three-pointer to take the lead and those would be the final points scored in this game as Marqueet would win this game by a final score of 71-69. UCLA did have opportunities to tie or win the game as a three-point attempt by Stefanovic was unsuccessful and a last-second mid-range jumper by Mack failed to fall, which secured the victory for Marquette.