Saturday, March 02, 2013 11:19 pm
UCLA beats No. 11 Arizona 74-69 for Pac-12 tie
By BETH HARRISAP Sports Writer
The star freshman finished with 18 points as UCLA fans chanted "One more year" in reference to Muhammad's likely early departure for the NBA draft.
Kyle Anderson added 17 points, Larry Drew II had 14 points and nine assists in the senior's final home game for the Bruins, and David Wear had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Grant Jerrett hit four 3-pointers in scoring 14 points, Mark Lyons added 13, and Kevin Parrom 11 for the Wildcats (23-6, 11-6 Pac-12), who committed 16 turnovers in coach Sean Miller's 300th career game. He is 212-88 overall and 92-41 in nine seasons in the desert. The Wildcats dropped the season series, having lost 84-73 in Tucson in January.
UCLA (22-7, 12-4) took control with a 15-5 run to open the second half before Arizona rallied with a 10-2 run to get to 72-69.
Drew dribbled down to kill time but then turned the ball over before UCLA could get off a shot with 24 seconds left. Lyons missed a jumper and Muhammad grabbed the rebound and fell to the floor while getting fouled by Nick Johnson.
Muhammad made both for a 74-69 lead and the Wildcats turned the ball over on their final possession.
UCLA broke a four-point game open with its second-half run. Drew scored six points on two 3-pointers, Muhammad had five points and Wear four as the Bruins took a 55-41 lead.
The Wildcats rallied with a 13-4 spurt that included two 3-pointers by Johnson and another by Parrom that closed them to 59-54.
But Muhammad answered with a 3-pointer and Wear hit one several seconds later for a 67-56 lead, keeping the Wildcats in catch-up mode for most of the game.
Arizona concluded a losing weekend in Los Angeles, having been beaten 89-78 by Southern California on Wednesday night. The Wildcats have lost four of their last seven games, with only rival Arizona State to play next weekend before the Pac-12 tournament begins in Las Vegas.
UCLA led most of the first half, although never by more than seven points. Drew's layup with 2 seconds left kept the Bruins ahead 40-36 at the break.
Travis Wear returned to the Bruins' lineup after missing two straight games with a right foot injury. He finished with six points as one of three UCLA players in second-half foul trouble.
Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chauncey Billups and Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers were among the sellout crowd of 13,727. Baron Davis and Bill Walton were on hand, too. UCLA honored its 1972 national championship team at halftime.