Arizona Edges UCLA 65-63
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Fogg hit a big 3-pointer and scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half of his final home game, fellow senior Jesse Perry added 16 points and Arizona held on for a 65-63 win over UCLA on Saturday.
Arizona (21-9, 12-5 Pac-12) struggled against UCLA’s big front line and shot 37 percent, but its three leaders helped pull out a tough win.
Perry had 12 points in the second half, junior Solomon Hill had 13 points overall and Fogg hit a 3-pointer with 53 seconds left to put the Wildcats up six.
UCLA (16-13, 9-7) stayed close despite leading scorer Lazeric Jones scoring two points on 1-of-12 shooting and center Joshua Smith fighting foul trouble.
The Bruins had a final chance after Arizona missed 4 of 6 free throws in the final 23 seconds, but Jerime Anderson’s jumper at the buzzer sailed long. Anderson had 20 points and David Wear added 13.
Two of the conference’s traditional powers came into the game needing wins.
Arizona was left with a slim margin for error after an up-and-down season.
A loss to Washington last weekend left the Wildcats two games out of first in the Pac-12, their chances of repeating as conference champions barely dangling.
Arizona followed that up with a resounding win over USC on Thursday, keeping the door open for at least an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament if it doesn’t win the Pac-12 tournament. Of course, the Trojans are last in the Pac-12, so it was more of a don’t-screw-it-up game for the Wildcats.
UCLA was looking for something positive at the end of a disappointing season, its only hope at the NCAAs being to win the conference tournament.
The preseason co-favorites to win the Pac-12, the Bruins got off to a miserable start and never really recovered, pretty much out of the conference race since mid-January.
UCLA won its first game of this desert road trip, knocking off Arizona State 66-57 behind Jones’ 20 points.
Past matchups between these Pac-12 powers were normally blink-and-you’ll-miss games, filled with alley-oops and fastbreak dunks.
This one played out more like an instructional video on half-court basketball.
Walking the ball up the floor and deliberate once they got across midcourt, Arizona and UCLA scored intermittently, not in bunches.
The Bruins struggled with their shooting touch at times, launching at least five airballs, while Jones was 0-for-4 in the half. Smith played just four minutes after tweaking his back in practice on Friday and picking up three fouls trying to guard the quicker Perry.
The Wildcats had a couple of lengthy stretches without a field goal and had some careless turnovers in the early going, including a double-dribble by Angelo Chol that caused coach Sean Miller to punch the scorer’s table behind him.
Arizona led 27-26 after the first half and the bogged-down style didn’t change in the second, with each team opening with an airball.
UCLA started to hit a few shots, building a six-point lead midway through, but Arizona wouldn’t go away despite another long stretch without a field goal, staying within reach behind the relentlessness of Hill and Perry, who battled for offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive.
Fogg took it from there, dropping in a 3-pointer and repeatedly got inside to draw fouls, then hit his 3-pointer with just under a minute left.
Lamb followed with a jumper and UCLA pulled within 63-61 on two free throws by Smith with 12 seconds left. Fogg made just 2 of 4 free throws after that to give the Bruins a final shot, but they couldn’t convert.