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UCLA Bruins Blow Lead Late, Fall to UC Berkeley 64-62

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The UCLA Bruins ran out of steam at Haas Pavilion against UC Berkeley in a critical conference game.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

After beating UC Berkeley by 19 points back in January, the Bruins were looking to pick up another road win tonight at Haas Pavilion.

The Golden Bears led by as many as ten points in the first half, but the Bruins closed the gap to 2 before half. Jordan Matthews then hit a buzzer beater to give the Bears a 4-point lead at the break.

The two teams kept the score tight throughout the second half. Neither team led by more than 6 at any point in the second half. There were nine lead changes up until the 3:45 mark in the second half when Tony Parker dunked to give the Bruins a 5-point advantage.

But Jabari Parker hit a three-pointer with 2:49 to go make it a two-point game.

Norman Powell stretched the lead to 4 and UCLA led 62-58 with 1:32 to go.

And, that's when the Bruins ran out of gas. UC Berkeley scored the next six points down the stretch and sealed the victory.

The Bruins got the ball back with five seconds left but, rather than calling their last timeout after getting the ball over the time line, Bryce Alford kept driving and took a wild three-pointer that had no chance of going in.

Tony Parker led the Bruins with 20 points while Norman Powell's 4-game streak of scoring more than 20 came to an end as the Bears held him in check for only 13 points. While Jabari Bird led the Golden Bears with 16, it seemed like Sam Singer could do no wrong scoring 13 and going 5 for 6 from the field.

If there was a reason that the Bruins lost this game, it was probably due to a lack of scoring from the bench. The Bruins shot 46% compared to UC Berkeley's 38%, but Berkeley's bench put in 17 points while the Bruins had a lone bucket from Thomas Welsh.

After the loss,the Bruins dropped to sixth place in the conference with a record of 6-5 in conference play. The game box score is posted on ESPN.com.

If the Bruins fail to make the NCAA Tournament, this game may very well end up being the reason.