Pac-12 basketball: Oregon thwarts top-seeded UCLA in Pac-12 Championship
LAS VEGAS — As Oregon head coach Dana Altman excitedly spoke to his team in the locker room shortly after winning the Pac-12 Championship, the Ducks were noticeably missing a teammate.
Jonathan Lloyd is only 5-foot-8, but his presence was felt in a 78-69 win against No. 21 UCLA.
As the Ducks (26-8, 12-6 Pac-12) waited for him by their lockers, Altman joked, “It’s like he’s the mayor of Las Vegas or something.”
Lloyd strolled into the locker room a few minutes later. Oregon cut down the nets at MGM Grand Garden Arena, and Lloyd had some draped around his neck with a wide smile across his face.
UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad, right, drives to the hoop as Arizona's Solomon Hill defends in the second half at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, March 2, 2013. UCLA won, 74-69. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
He had just finished dropping 19 points on the Bruins in front of his hometown crowd and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player for his efforts.
Lloyd, like UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad, played high school ball at Bishop Gorman.
“I mean, you could just look at Jon Lloyd and tell being home really got him going,” said Carlos Emory, who scored a game-high 20 points. “He knew he wanted to show out for his city, and he did.
“He’s the littlest fella and he plays like he’s about 6’9, 6’10.”
UCLA put up a fight, but after overcoming large deficits against both Arizona (11 points) and Arizona State (15) in the last two days, the Bruins couldn’t do the same against Oregon.
They trailed by 11 points toward the end of the first half, but brought it within 10 for most of the second, and as close as two points with 12 minutes to go, but it wasn’t enough, thanks in large part to Lloyd and Emory, both who came off the bench for the Ducks.
“Jonathan, he really hurt us,” said Muhammad, who had 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting. “We couldn’t guard him off the pick and roll. He was shooting, We couldn’t do anything to him.”
The Bruins were playing their first game without standout freshman Jordan Adams, who will miss the rest of the season due to an ankle injury suffered against Arizona on Friday. Despite his injury, Adams was named to the All-Pac-12 tournament team after scoring 34 points in two games.
“I mean guys all need to play better,” said UCLA point guard Larry Drew II, who had 14 points and six assists. “Together as a team, without Jordan we just have to lift each other up and hopefully we’ll come out next week. It just seems like we’re always fighting back at the end of games.”
The NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced Sunday at 3 p.m. on CBS.
Arizona snubbed from All-tourney team
The 18th-ranked Arizona Wildcats weren’t represented on the All-Pac-12 Tournament team. The Wildcats defeated Colorado on Thursday, but faltered against UCLA on Friday and were eliminated from the single-elimination tournament. Nick Johnson and Solomon Hill were likely candidates, but Arizona just didn’t do enough to get a name on the list.
Lloyd was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
Here’s who was selected to the team:
Jonathan Lloyd, Oregon
Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon
Jahii Carson, Arizona State
Larry Drew II, UCLA
Jordan Adams, UCLA