LOS ANGELES — Four Wildcats recorded double-digits as No. 1 Arizona defeated UCLA 79-75 on a national stage at Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion Thursday evening.
Sophomores Kaleb Tarczewski and Gabe York and junior shooting guard Nick Johnson combined for a total of 50 points and 13 rebounds.
Johnson enjoyed a career game and had 15 points, two rebounds and an assist in his first 23 minutes of play. The Gilbert, Ariz. native finished off with 22 points to accompany four rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Junior point guard T.J. McConnell lead the UA offense with eight points, seven assists, seven rebounds, and two steals .
Tarczewski ended the night converting six-of-six attempts from the field for 16 points and added eight rebounds while York finished with 12 points.
Freshman forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson contributed hustle for the Wildcats and led the team with three offensive rebounds. Hollis-Jefferson had seven rebounds total and three assists.
With 15:02 remaining, Arizona led 51-46 and continued to reveal its offensive prowess while running a tight defense.
About three minutes later, the Wildcats enjoyed their first double digit lead going up by 10 points, 58-48.
With just over 5:00 remaining, the Wildcats held on to a commanding 11 point lead. However, The Bruins continued to battle, consistently decreasing Arizona’s advantage.
With 3:29 on the clock, the Wildcats watched their lead shrink to four points after UCLA went on a 9-2 run. The Bruins cut the lead to four with 3:29 left, and tied the game at 68 with 2:23 left on a three from Jordan Adams. With 1:44 on the clock, UCLA pulled ahead after being down by 13.
Arizona entered the final minute up 73-70 and the Wildcats managed a four point victory, due to clutch shooting from the stripe.
Throughout the game, Arizona proved to be effective, efficient and deadly while close to the basket, and collected 42 points in the paint compared to UCLA’s 22.
—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17