This post was updated Feb. 9 at 5:35 p.m.
A polar vortex recently sent bitter cold weather and biting winds into the Midwest.
The Pacific Northwest is currently experiencing a brutal winter storm, prompting Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.
UCLA experienced its own Game of Thrones-esque winter late in the second half.
The Bruins (12-12, 5-6 Pac-12) shot 70 percent in the first half, but Utah guard Parker Van Dyke’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer stunned the home team in a 93-92 win for the Utes (13-10, 7-4).
“We went through a stretch for two or three minutes where we tried to work the clock and missed some shots,” said sophomore guard Jaylen Hands. “And then there were a couple possessions after they started fouling, they started trapping, so a lot of people didn’t know if it was a ‘foul’ or ‘trap’ (situation), so we got a little confused there.”
UCLA led by 22 points with 12 minutes left, but didn’t make a field goal for more than six minutes at the end of the second half and missed seven free throws down the stretch.
Utah scored 61 points in the second half, including 25 in the final 3 minutes, 4 seconds of the contest.
“Defensively, we just couldn’t get a stop (in the) last four or five minutes of the game – we just couldn’t stop them,” said interim coach Murry Bartow. “We obviously turned it over some against their press. We missed some free throws late against their press. Maybe got a little tentative in the last six, seven minutes of the game.”
The Bruins were up by three points with eight seconds left in the game – almost the exact same scenario as their second half double-digit comeback against Oregon in January – and also elected to foul after the baseline inbounds pass.
But Hands admitted he rushed the foul, taking only one second off the clock.
“When you’re up three with that much time on the clock and I think as the ball is crossing half court, four or five seconds on the clock, it’s statistically probably the right play,” Bartow said. “We didn’t execute it right because we fouled way too quickly.”
With UCLA up one point, freshman guard David Singleton walked up to the free throw line for two attempts with five seconds left, but missed the first and made the second.
Utah inbounded the ball and Van Dyke’s rainbow attempt swished through the net as the horn sounded.
Before the game, UCLA announced that center Moses Brown would not be starting after he was late to a team shootaround. The freshman had started every game this season.
Brown sat the entire game before entering for the final play.
With the center out, redshirt freshman forward Cody Riley moved into the starting lineup, and Bartow came out with a man-to-man defense, introducing a twist to the Bruins’ defensive scheme.
UCLA interchanged man and zone defense throughout the game, hassling Utah into a 42.9 percent first-half shooting performance.
On the other end of the floor, the Bruins showcased their ball movement and ball security in one of their best shooting halves of the season.
“Our main focus tonight was really (to) get 20 assists,” said sophomore guard Kris Wilkes. “And we did achieve that goal. But ultimately I think a lot of that was in the first half.”
In the second half, both the defense and the offense cooled off, allowing Utah to win at the buzzer.