Abdul-Hamid's Buzzer Beater Lifts Bruins to Victory
By Bruin Basketball Report
He's been working his tail off at practice ever since he decided to walk-on at UCLA over three years ago, and today it all paid off.
With 3.2 seconds left and UCLA down by one point, Mustafa Abdul-Hamid took a long pass dribbled to the top of the circle, pump faked his defender in the air, before calmly sinking a 20 foot jump shot at the buzzer to win the game, 62-61.
Ironically Abdul-Hamid was only on the floor because sophomore Jerime Anderson suffered a hip flexor injury and did not suit up for the game.
UCLA started the game at Pauley Pavilion determined to play a 2-3 zone defense all night against Washington. A solid strategy considering the Huskies were ranked last in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting at 28.9%, and the Bruin defenders have had problems staying in from of offensive players.
But the Huskies (12-6, 3-4) started off hot from the perimeter, hitting their shots. and went into halftime with a 41-37 lead. Forward Quincy Pondexter was 4 of 4 on his three-pointers and finished with a game-high 23 points.
In the second-half the Bruin zone tightened and did a better job closing out on Husky shooters while holding Washington to just 20 points in the half.
On the offensive end, the UCLA freshmen helped spark the team.
Reeves Nelson finished with 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting while Tyler Honeycutt continued to show off his all-around game.
Honeycutt finished with 10 points and hit all 4 of his shots and finished with a game-high 9 rebounds. The young freshman also chipped in 6 assists.
But this game belonged to the former walk-on player, Abdul-Hamid, who has since earned a well deserved basketball scholarship at UCLA.
With the poise he displayed in the game tonight it wouldn't be a surprise if Abdul-Hamid saw a little more action on the floor in upcoming games.
The Bruins (8-10, 3-3) will face the Cougars of Washington State at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.