No. 5 Arizona thrashes UCLA 88-65 to clinch the Pac-12 regular-season title in final league season


LOS ANGELES — KJ Lewis scored 18 points, Caleb Love added 17 and No. 5 Arizona routed UCLA 88-65 to clinch the Pac-12 regular-season title Thursday night in the Wildcats’ final season in the league.

The Wildcats (24-6, 15-4 Pac-12) got some help in the Pacific Northwest, where Washington defeated second-place Washington State 74-68. Arizona is headed to the Big 12 next season, while the Bruins are bound for the Big Ten.

Jaden Bradley added 13 points for Arizona, which had five players in double figures while winning its fourth in a row. The Wildcats earned their first win at Pauley Pavilion under third-year coach Tommy Lloyd, who was 0-2 in the building.

The Bruins had won five in a row at home against Arizona, but the Wildcats took over after the game was tied three times in the opening minutes.

They outscored UCLA 29-12 the rest of the first half to lead 44-27 at the break, with the large number of Arizona fans chanting “U of A! U of A!” Love scored his first 12 points during that spurt, while the Bruins went scoreless over the final two minutes.

Arizona picked up where it left off after halftime. The Wildcats opened with a 15-6 run, including six points by Oumar Ballo, who dunked twice. Pelle Larsson and Ballo hit back-to-back 3-pointers in extending the lead to 59-33. Arizona led by 26 twice after that.

Lazar Stefanovic scored 20 points to lead UCLA (14-16, 9-10). The Bruins got 18 points from Dylan Andrews and 10 from foul-prone Adem Bona in losing their season-worst fifth in a row.

The Wildcats trailed by 19 against the Bruins at home in January before rallying to win 77-71. UCLA couldn’t turn the tables and never put together a sustained run in the second half.

Ballo finished with nine points and three rebounds, ending his run of nine consecutive double-doubles.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona: The Wildcats head into next week’s Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas mindful that they lost twice to Washington State by three points. Their only other league losses came against Stanford and Oregon State, both on the road.

UCLA: The Bruins need to beat Arizona State to finish at .500 in the league standings and head into the conference tourney with a modicum of momentum. They’ll have to play a first-round game in Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

Arizona: Visits Southern California on Saturday to conclude the regular season.

UCLA: Hosts Arizona State on Saturday in its last game before the Pac-12 Tournament.

___

AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top