UCLA Falls to Arizona in Pac-12 Tournament Title Game
LAS VEGAS – Top-seeded Arizona defeated No. 2-seed UCLA, 84-76, in the championship contest of the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena before a crowd of 14,401 on Saturday night.
The Bruins (25-7) led 50-39 early in the second half before Arizona used a 24-8 scoring run through a nine-minute stretch to claim a 63-58 cushion. Arizona outscored UCLA by a 49-36 margin in the second half.
Jules Bernard led four Bruins who scored in double figures with 19 points. Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds, notching his sixth double-double of the season.
Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin led the Wildcats with 27 points.
Arizona took a quick 10-4 lead to start the game, but Tyger Campbell answered with five-straight points to cut the Bruins' deficit to one at the 13:54 mark in the first half.
UCLA took its first lead of the contest when Bernard scored in the paint, putting UCLA ahead 18-17 at the 9:17 mark. The game continued to see-saw before Bernard connected on a turnaround jumper, giving the Bruins a 24-21 lead.
Later, Christian Koloko cut UCLA's lead to one after hitting a pair of free throws, but the Bruins fired right back with a 5-0 personal run for Jaquez Jr., making it 34-28 with 2:38 remaining in the half. UCLA held a two-point advantage before Johnny Juzang closed out the first half in style, as he drained a contested triple at the buzzer to give the Bruins a 40-35 lead at the break.
Juzang was the only scorer in double figures after the first 20 minutes, totaling 11 points on 5-8 shooting. Campbell contributed nine points and Jaquez Jr. added seven points and five rebounds. Mathurn led the Wildcats with nine points and two assists.
The Bruins extended their lead to seven to start the second half after a triple from Campbell and a three-point play from Jaquez Jr. Two free throws from Bernard made it 48-39 and Campbell then added an elbow jumper to give UCLA an 11-point lead.
Arizona countered with a 15-2 run to retake a one-point lead with under 12 minutes remaining in the contest. Bernard halted the stretch with a crucial three-pointer from the left elbow extended, putting the Bruins back on top, 58-56.
The Wildcats continued their hot streak with an additional 7-0 run before Bernard scored four-straight points to cut Arizona's lead to a point. Arizona scored the next five points and the teams exchanged baskets for several possessions, with the Wildcats securing a 78-72 advantage at the 2:53 media stoppage.
UCLA continued to battle and cut the deficit to four by way of a second-chance bucket from Cody Riley but could not reduce Arizona's margin to any fewer than four points.
The Bruins will now await their NCAA Tournament seed assignment, which will be announced on Sunday, March 13. The NCAA's Selection Show will air on CBS at 3:00 p.m. (PT).
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: UCLA's Jules Bernard and Jaime Jaquez Jr. were selected to the All-Pac-12 Tournament Team, as announced at the conclusion of Saturday's game. Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin was named the tournament's "Most Outstanding Player." The other selections to this season's All-Tournament Team included Stanford's Spencer Jones, Arizona's Christian Koloko and USC's Boogie Ellis.