What’s buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

UCLA wins, celebrates twice

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Eight years had passed since the last time UCLA celebrated at Washington's Hec Edmundson Pavilion, and yet the Bruins were able to do it twice Saturday.

Shabazz Muhammad scored 14 of his 21 points after halftime, leading UCLA to a 61-54 over Washington, and then the Bruins gathered around a cell phone in the visiting locker room and waited to celebrate again.

After Utah knocked off Oregon about a half hour after the end of the UCLA game, the Bruins officially were anointed as the Pacific-12 Conference regular seasons champions.

"It was a double-whammy," Muhammad said after scoring five of his points during UCLA's 13-2 run to end the game. "We got to go into the locker room and celebrate, then we got to watch Oregon lose and celebrate again.

"But we're not satisfied yet."

UCLA's first conference title since 2007-08 came after the Bruins (23-8, 13-5 in the Pac-12) rallied from a four-point deficit and shut down the Washington offense for most of the final six minutes.

Shawn Kemp Jr.'s dunk with 1:04 remaining marked the only points by Washington (17-14, 9-9) over the final six minutes.

UCLA's Larry Drew II made a driving layup with 32.6 seconds left on the clock to essentially put the game away, giving the Bruins a 59-54 lead.

But it was Muhammad and the UCLA defense that really played well down the stretch, forcing four turnovers and 1-for-10 shooting from the Huskies over the final six minutes.

Washington had 19 turnovers for the game, including 12 in the second half.

"I'm sure we'll focus on that (heading into the Pac-12 tournament)," Huskies senior Scott Suggs said of the turnovers.

Washington took a 52-48 lead with six minutes remaining, and a few seconds later Huskies big man Aziz N'Diaye swatted Jordan Adams' shot into the crowd and celebrated with three pushups before getting off the floor.

But that would be the last of the celebrations for Washington, which went on to miss eight consecutive shots and turn the ball over three times while UCLA scored nine unanswered points.

"We're just going to look at the tournament as a new season," N'Diaye said afterward. "It's a new season, and we'll go in with the mindset of getting to the tournament and getting wins."

UCLA was able to bounce back from a surprising Wednesday night loss to Washington State that looked like it might have ruined the Bruins' chances of winning an outright title.

But thanks to Muhammad and 17 points from Adams, UCLA was able to celebrate another conference title.

"To go through all the adversity we've been through this season and to win it here is really gratifying," UCLA coach Ben Howland said.

Travis Wear of UCLA, who scored 10 points while playing through a sprained right foot, said the atmosphere after Saturday's game was like "night and day" compared to the loss at Washington State three days earlier.

"Losing to Washington State wasn't a high point in the season," Wear said. "To come out and win in this environment was huge. We've done that all season; we've come back from losses with big wins. And we did it again today."

NOTES: Washington lost its seventh home game of the season, matching the career-high total coach Lorenzo Romar had during his first season with the Huskies in 2002-03. ... Larry Drew II got his fourth assist of the game early in the second half, breaking Pooh Richardson's school record of 236 in a season. Drew had six for the game and has 239 for the season. ... Washington senior Scott Suggs continued his efficient offense, scoring 14 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. In the Huskies' last four games, Suggs has averaged 17.8 points per game, while making 27-of-43 shots. ... UCLA scored its first two baskets on dunks Saturday, but the Bruins missed badly on four other shots from the floor, before Travis Wear hit a 12-foot jumper with 16:22 remaining in the first half to cut Washington's lead to 11-6.
View Comments (14)