Larry Drew II Leads UCLA To Their 8th Straight Win
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) –Larry Drew II scored 12 points, including a driving layup to beat the shot clock with 9 seconds remaining, and UCLA held off Utah 57-53 on Thursday night.
The Utes, who were led by Cedric Martin’s 12 points, had two chances to take the lead in the final minutes, but Glen Dean missed wide-open 3-point attempts.
Travis Wear scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, when his teammates started misfiring. Jordan Adams also had 12 to help extend the Bruins’ win streak to eight games.
Kyle Anderson scored 11 points as the Bruins (13-3, 3-0 Pac-12) took advantage of nine first-half Utah turnovers to lead by as many as 13 before settling for a 34-23 advantage at halftime.
Playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd that trudged through a major snowstorm, the Utes (8-7, 0-3) dropped their third straight despite Jason Washburn’s and Jordan Loveridge’s 11 points apiece. The game marked UCLA’s first true road game of the season and its first game at Utah since 1930.
The Bruins posted a season low in points but also held the Utes to 39 percent shooting, including 4 of 20 from behind the 3-point line.
Wear tipped in an errant 3-pointer by Shabazz Muhammad to make it 55-49 with 4:07 remaining, but the Utes drew within two on Loveridge’s back-to-back shots at the rim.
After that, the Utes missed their final six attempts, including three open looks by Dean, who finished 1 of 11 from the field.
On the other end, Drew, UCLA’s lone senior, patiently dribbled as the clock wound down and waited for a defensive switch. As Washburn moved over to guard him, he burst past the Utah center and sealed the game with a layup over the defender’s outstretched arm.
Drew, who leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, had four assists and an uncharacteristic three turnovers against Utah’s hard-nosed defense. The team leader looked to score more as heralded freshman Muhammad had his worst scoring game of the season with just six points on 3-of-13 shooting.
The tough-luck Utes have lost all three of their Pac-12 games despite having chances in the final minute in each. Utah, which was picked in the preseason to finish last in the conference, took Arizona and Arizona State to the wire but dropped both contests on the road last week.