Hayward’s late free throws give Butler win

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Gordon Hayward saved Butler from being upset with two clutch free throws.

Hayward made two free throws with 0.6 seconds to play, giving No. 12 Butler a 69-67 victory over UCLA in the 76 Classic on Friday night.

Shelvin Mack scored a season-high 21 points for the Bulldogs (4-1). Hayward finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

“Winning is unusual,” Butler coach Brad Stevens said. “That’s one of the things we talk about all the time. When you play a championship team that has not had its best night, then you know what you’re getting.”

UCLA began the 76 Classic with a 74-47 loss to Portland on Thursday night.

“I think we made a step in the right direction in terms of our effort and our intensity for 40 minutes,” Bruins coach Ben Howland said. “If we continue to work this hard and play this hard, we’re going to be a much improved team.”

UCLA, which trailed by nine points with 9:58 remaining, tied it at 67 on Jerime Anderson’s 3-point shot with 8.6 seconds left.

“They hit big shots late,” Stevens said of the Bruins. “Anderson was making plays, Malcolm Lee was making plays and the young big guys (Drew Gordon and Reeves Nelson) hurt us.”

On the ensuing inbound play, Hayward received Avery Jukes’ pass, drove the lane under intense physical pressure, was fouled by Michael Roll and made both free throws.

“When I had the ball and looked up, I didn’t realize that we didn’t have that much time left,” Hayward said. “I just tried to take (the ball) down the floor and get to the basket.”

Hayward then intercepted Anderson’s long inbound pass intended for Nicola Dragovic in the Bruins’ frontcourt as time expired.

Dragovic had 14 points and six rebounds for the Bruins (2-3), who had three players foul out. Malcolm Lee added 11 points and four assists.

Butler used a 12-3 surge to take a 21-11 lead with 9:14 left in the first half, and led by 14 points with 7:38 before halftime. Mack scored 16 points in the first half.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 UCLA
Nikola Dragovic Nikola Dragovic
4-7,  14 Pts
6 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Butler
Shelvin Mack Shelvin Mack
6-10,  21 Pts
5 Rebs, 0 Assists

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Friday, Nov 27