Cameron Dollar Surprises Even Himself With Game-Winning Shot
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Cameron Dollar remembers being ``in a frenzy,″ just trying to get a shot off as time was running out in overtime of a tie game.
He got the shot off, all right, and _ surprise _ it went in the basket, giving No. 17 UCLA a 91-88 victory over Washington.
Dollar, whose 45-foot shot from just inside the halfcourt line was his only field goal in Thursday night’s game, was an unlikely UCLA hero for several reasons.
First of all, the junior point guard doesn’t shoot much. And when he does, the ball doesn’t go in the basket much.
The field goal was just his 33rd in 90 attempts this season, and it was only his fifth successful 3-point shot in 22 tries.
Not only that, Dollar has been unsuccessful in practice when UCLA players try to make long ones just for the heck of it.
``When the kids goof around trying these last-second shots in practice, I can’t remember Cameron ever coming close to making one,″ UCLA coach Jim Harrick said. ``What a great surprise!″
Dollar said it was the first game-winning shot he’s ever made.
``When it left my fingers, I was thinking, `That looks like it’s going in,′ ″ he said. ``Then when it went in, it was, `You’ve got to be kidding.′
``I didn’t know how much time I had. I just wanted to get the ball downcourt as fast as I could.″
Washington’s Bryant Boston made a short jumper with three seconds remaining to tie the game at 88. Dollar, who finished with four points to equal his season average, then took the inbound pass, dribbled down the left side of the court, and cast off as time was running out.
The ball swished through, and the celebration began.
``There’s nobody more deserving than Cameron Dollar,″ Harrick said. ``Guys like that deserve to make a shot of that magnitude. Last year was like a merry-go-round, this year is like a roller coaster.″
The defending NCAA champion Bruins (22-7, 15-2 Pac-10), who have won three straight games and six of their last seven, can equal their conference record of last season by beating Washington State on Saturday in their regular-season finale.
``It does feel like we have this aura _ from last year to this year,″ Dollar said. ``You do get that feeling.
``The cardiac kids, that’s what they call us.″