DAYTON, Ohio /March 13, 2018 (AP)(STL.News) — Courtney Stockard returned from a hamstring injury and scored 26 points, and Jaylen Adams made a jumper and three free throws in the final minute Tuesday night, rallying St. Bonaventure to a 65-58 victory over UCLA and its first NCAA Tournament victory in 48 years.
The 11th-seeded Bonnies (26-7) will play sixth-seeded Florida (20-12) in Dallas on Thursday night in the East region.
St. Bonaventure set a school record with its 26th win. Stockard got the Bonnies in position for the drought-busting tournament victory by leading a late 12-0 run. Adams — who missed 14 of his first 15 shots — closed it out in the final 49 seconds.
UCLA (21-12) bristled at having to play in the First Four for the first time in its history — the Bruins have been to 18 Final Fours. They had trouble making shots against the Bonnies’ zone defense and had 20 turnovers, a disappointing ending to a season that started with an international incident.
Freshmen Jalen Hill, Cody Riley and LiAngelo Ball were accused of shoplifting during a trip to China in November. All three were suspended for the season, and Ball left the school.
UCLA’s Aaron Holiday led the Pac-12 in scoring but couldn’t put his touch on the First Four game. He scored 20 points but had 10 turnovers, including two pivotal ones in the final minute when he fouled out.
Adams is the Bonnies’ all-time leading scorer as a guard but had a rough time as well until the final minute. He finished with eight points on 2-of-16 shooting.
St. Bonaventure: The undersized Bonnies lack depth and were glad to get Stockard back from the hamstring injury. He’s scored 21, 31, 22, 19 and 26 points in the last five games.
UCLA: Holiday was the Bruins’ indispensable player on offense in the last six games, averaging 26 points while sitting out for only 43 seconds. The Pac-12’s leading scorer got the Bruins going early, hitting his first three shots as they pulled ahead 14-5. He missed his next eight shots as St. Bonaventure rallied.
St. Bonaventure will try to win two games in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1970, when it beat Davidson, N.C. State and Villanova before losing to Jacksonville. The Bonnies had lost three NCAA Tournament games — in 1978, 2000 and 2012 — since that last win in 1970.