UCLA 66, Arizona 64

The SportsXchange

LAS VEGAS -- Jordan Adams fueled a UCLA rally in the second half, and the Bruins advanced to the Pac-12 tournament championship game with a 66-64 victory over Arizona on Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Adams scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, including 14 consecutively at one point. His jumper with 3:53 remaining tied the game at 58. The Bruins trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half.

Shabazz Muhammad's two free throws with 3:11 remaining gave UCLA a 60-58 lead, the Bruins' first advantage since 16:36 remained in the first half.

Grant Jerrett's 3-pointer for Arizona tied the game at 64 with 55 seconds remaining. Kyle Anderson's put-back gave the Bruins a 66-64 advantage with 23 seconds left.

Arizona's Solomon Hill missed a jump shot with five seconds remaining, with ball rattling in and out. The Wildcats could not get off another shot.

Muhammad and Travis Wear each scored 11 points for UCLA (25-8), and Anderson added 10.

Arizona (25-7) got 15 points from Brandon Ashley, 13 from Mark Lyons, and 10 apiece from Hill and Nick Johnson.

The Bruins will meet the winner of the Oregon-Utah semifinal for the tournament title.

Cold perimeter shooting and subpar play from Muhammad, the Bruins' leading scorer, and playmaker Larry Drew II spelled trouble for the Bruins for most of the game until Adams' outburst.

Muhammad, who averages 18.3 points, had managed only six points and Drew had produced only two assists with 9:39 remaining in the game, and the Wildcats ahead 49-42. The Bruins were also 0-for-9 from 3-point range at that juncture.

Muhammad came to life, scoring five consecutive points to cut Arizona's lead to 49-45 with 9:10 remaining. Adams added to UCLA's 9-0 run, making a baseline jumper with 8:14 left to slice the deficit to 49-47.

Adams' consecutive baskets trimmed Arizona's lead to 53-51 with 5:24 remaining. He made UCLA's first 3-pointer with 4:44 left in the game to cut the lead to 56-54. His two free throws, following a technical foul on Arizona's bench, tied the score at 56 with 4:37 remaining.

Arizona coach Sean Miller mixed up his defense by placing shooting guard Johnson, the Wildcats' best defensive player, on UCLA point guard Drew in attempt to throw off the All-Pac-12 guard. Miller also made a concerted effort to get inside to exploit the Bruins' lack of size near the basket.

Drew had trouble getting on track, and the Wildcats scored and rebounded efficiently inside to take a 26-18 lead with 5:20 left in the first half.

By that point Arizona's freshmen frontcourt players -- Ashley, Jerrett and Kaleb Tarczewski -- were a combined 5-for-6 from the field. Drew, who averages 7.6 assists per game, had only one assist and one turnover.

UCLA answered with a 6-0 run behind four points from guard Adams to cut the lead 26-24. Adams had six points at the half and Travis Wear eight, but Shabazz Muhammad had only two.

The Wildcats responded with four unanswered points by Ashley and Johnson to take a 30-26 lead. UCLA made only two field goals in the last 6:47 of the half.

NOTES: UCLA improved to go 3-0 against Arizona after sweeping the regular-season series. The Bruins also beat the Wildcats three times in 2006. Arizona has tried to beat UCLA three times on two occasions, in 2003 and 2010, but lost both times. ... The Bruins' three freshmen starters -- Adams, Anderson and Muhammad -- have accounted for 55.4 percent of UCLA's total points, 47.3 percent of the total rebounds and 43.1 percent of the total minutes.
View Comments