FINAL: UCLA 74, No. 11 Arizona 69
LOS ANGELES – With 24 seconds left, the 11th-ranked Arizona Wildcats had a chance, even with 16 turnovers, a struggling Solomon Hill and a 12-2 UCLA run to start the second half.
Mark Lyons had the ball, and dribbled it down to 10 seconds before taking an off-balance mid-range jumper, which clanked off the rim.
UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad hit two free throws to close out the game, and the rest was history in a 74-69 loss for the Wildcats.
With the loss went the Wildcats’ Pac-12 title chances.
Arizona came to Los Angeles with high hopes. Win two games, and the Pac-12 was all but theirs.
Instead, the Wildcats lost to both USC and UCLA, capped by tonight’s loss to the Bruins at Pauley Pavilion.
ESPN understandably marked this matchup as a “GameDay” spot in the preseason, and the crowd came out in droves.
A sell-out Pauley Pavilion crowd of 13,727 fans was record for the long, renovated home of UCLA basketball, and they were loud from Shabazz Muhammad’s three-pointer in the opening minutes, to his shots from the charity stripe at the end.
UCLA shot 46.8 percent (29 of 62) on the game, 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from three and had 17 assists to just nine turnovers.
The Wildcats on the other hand, had 13 assists with 16 turnovers.
Solomon Hill in particular struggled. He scored less than 10 points (with seven) for his second time in three games, and had a season-high five turnovers with four fouls.
Despite Hill’s struggles for most of the first half Arizona was still within three points with 59 seconds to go, thanks to Grant Jerrett’s hot hand. The Wildcats went on a 10-2 run with 4:12 to go before
Muhammad’s free throws sealed the game, but not for the fault of Arizona’s 6-foot-10 freshman forward.
Jerrett hit two 3-pointers in that stretch, and four on the game, for a career and team-high 14 points to go with five rebounds.
Shabazz Muhammad led UCLA with 18 points, and point guard Larry Drew added 14 points and nine assists for the Bruins.
Stay tuned for more from tonight’s game, including quotes from players and head coach Sean Miller.