It was not the kind of debut UCLA basketball Coach Larry Farmer and highly touted freshman center Stuart Gray had hoped for.
The Bruins led, 37-32, at the half, but were unable to hold off a Brigham Young rally Friday night as the Cougars upset the second-ranked Bruins, 79-75, at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.
But Farmer, a former UCLA player and protege of coaching great John Wooden, saw some bright spots in the Bruins' season-opening effort.
"Overall, I'm pleased with our intensity and hustle," said Farmer, who is the fourth Bruin coach since Wooden retired in 1975. "We did have some lapses, though.
"I think (BYU Coach) Frank Arnold did a good job of preparing BYU for the half-court and fullcourt press," he said, "I think in the preseason there will be a lot of zone defenses against us. Teams know about our quickness. If we can be patient and move the ball around, we can do well against the zone."
The Bruins, trailing, 77-75, with two seconds left, had a chance to send the game into overtime. Gray went up for a short bank shot and a whistle was blown.
But an official called a "held ball," which under the new rules meant the ball was awarded to BYU. The new rule calls for teams to alternate in bounding the ball rather than having the traditional jump ball.
"There was a little contact around the ball at the end," Farmer said. "(But) UCLA got the previous held ball, so BYU got this one. I thought there was contact. Because of the new rules, UCLA missed a chance for a jump ball in front of the basket."
The Cougars, who knocked UCLA out of the NCAA tournament last March, trailed, 51-43, early in the second half. But they outscored UCLA, 14-4, in a little less than six minutes to take a 61-57 lead and went ahead for good, 68-67, with 4:22 left.