FINAL: No. 18 Arizona falls to UCLA, 66-64 in semifinal round of Pac-12 tournament
Wildcats fall to 0-3 against Bruins on the season
LAS VEGAS – No. 18 Arizona lost to UCLA in the semifinal round of the Pac-12 tournament Friday night, 66-64.
With the loss, Arizona finished 0-3 against UCLA this season.
The UA led by as many as 11 in the second half, but a 9-0 run by the Bruins, specifically freshmen Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams, that spanned 90 seconds brought UCLA back into it.
Arizona shot 40.9 percent in the previous two matchups, but had more turnovers than assists in both games, especially from point guard Mark Lyons. Friday night, the Wildcats shot 44.6 percent and had 17 assists to 13 turnovers.
Freshmen big men Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley provided the Wildcats with more scoring options, as Ashley scored a game-high 15 points in 25 minutes and Tarczewski had 13 rebounds. Jerrett added eight points on 3-of-4 shooting. Tarczewski fouled out with 1:13 left to go after Adams stole the ball from Mark Lyons and drove into the paint.
Adams finished with 24 points in the game, two less than his career-high, including 18 in the second half.
Jerrett tied the game at 64 with under a minute left with a three, but on the next possession, freshman forward Kyle Anderson scored on a miss by Adams that put the Bruins back on top 66-64, with 22.1 seconds remaining.
On the final possession of the game, senior Solomon Hill was unable to make a jumper that would have sent the game to overtime, resulting in the two-point win for the Bruins.
After Thursday’s win over Colorado, head coach Sean Miller and senior forward Solomon Hill called UCLA guard Larry Drew II the “pacesetter” for the Bruins offense. Drew led the conference in assists, but in Friday’s game, he only had four and did not score, with UA sophomore guard Nick Johnson guarding him.
Unlike the prior two match ups, the Wildcats did not allow UCLA to jump out to a comfortable lead. Arizona was aggressive from the start, especially on the low block, scoring its first five points inside before Johnson hit the first three of the game.
Johnson finished with 10 points and five assists. Senior point guard Mark Lyons struggled in the UA’s first tournament game, finishing with 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting, but against UCLA, the season 41.3 percent shooter finished with 13 points and three assists against two turnovers.
Arizona is eliminated from the Pac-12 championship before the final game for the first time in three seasons, and await placement in the NCAA tournament.