(AP) UCLA rallies past No. 18 Arizona 66-64 at Pac-12
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Basketball Writer
Jordan Adams scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half and No. 21 UCLA beat No. 18 Arizona for the third time this season, a 66-64 victory Friday night that sends the Bruins to the Pac-12 tournament championship game.
Ditching their new pajama-like uniforms for the more traditional white with blue and yellow trim, the Bruins (25-8) fought back from an 11-point second-half deficit after pulling off a similar rally against Arizona State in the quarterfinals. Adams triggered it, scoring 17 points in the final 9:57, including 13 straight in one stretch.
Kyle Anderson put UCLA in front on a putback with 22 seconds left and Arizona’s Solomon Hill missed a midrange jumper, sending the Bruins into Saturday night’s title game.
Brandon Ashley had 15 points and Mark Lyons added 13 for Arizona (25-7).
The Wildcats were effective in slowing down Shabazz Muhammad and Larry Drew II, but had no answer for Adams once he got going in the second half.
Muhammad finished with 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting after a quiet first half and Drew went scoreless after missing all five of his shots.
Adams made up for it, hitting 6 of 13 shots and 11 of 13 from the free-throw line for the Pac-12 regular-season champs in an entertaining game at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
UCLA beat Arizona twice during the regular season, 84-73 in Tucson and 74-69 at home for its first season sweep of the Wildcats since 2007-08.
UCLA got off to a slow start in its opening game of the Pac-12 tournament, rallying from a 15-point deficit to beat Arizona State 80-75 in the quarterfinals.
Arizona built a 14-point lead in its opener, but couldn’t shake Colorado until late for a 79-69 win.
After the quarterfinal win, the Wildcats said they were looking forward to get a chance for revenge against the Bruins.
They played with an extra intensity, too, particularly on defense, cutting off lanes, knocking UCLA’s players to the floor with hard fouls.
Hounded by Nick Johnson, Drew had trouble getting into the lane, where he does his most damage, and missed all three of his shots _ with one turnover _ in a scoreless first half.
The Wildcats, led by Hill, also kept Muhammad from breaking loose.
The freshman swingman had a slow start against Arizona State in the quarterfinals before taking over during a key stretch in the second half and struggled early against Arizona, scoring 2 points while making 1 of his 4 shots.
UCLA missed all five of its 3-point attempts in the first half and shot 11 of 32 with just two assists.
Arizona’s Kaleb Tarczewski used his heft advantage to bull the slender Bruins around inside, grabbing nine first-half rebounds. Ashley gave Arizona a nice lift off the bench with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Arizona led 30-26 at halftime and tried to pull away from the Bruins to start the second half.
With Drew and Muhammad still unable to shake their shadows, UCLA missed its first five shots and Arizona stretched the lead to 49-38 midway through.
But, just like he did against the Sun Devils, Muhammad started to come alive, scoring on a layup and on a three-point play as part of a 9-0 run that pulled the Bruins within 49-47.
Then it was Adams’ turn. He matched the Wildcats by himself in a back-and-forth game, scoring 13 straight points in a little over 5 minutes to put UCLA ahead.
Breitbart Sports contributed to this report.