Freshman guard Jordan Adams scored 11 straight points in the second half to lead UCLA to a 66-64 victory over the Arizona Wildcats and one step closer to the Pac-12 tournament championship on Friday.
Adams missed a three point shot with the score tied at 64-64 with 30 seconds left, but Kyle Anderson tracked down the rebound and scored the go-ahead basket.
Arizona seemed poise to run UCLA off the court and head to the Pac-12 tournament finals, but careless turnovers kept allowing the Bruins to creep back into the game. UCLA was trailing by 11 with 10 minutes left in the game, but Arizona continued to shoot itself in the foot. The Wildcats finished the game with 14 turnovers, many of the caliber that made coach Sean Miller cringe.
When the rest of the team was struggling with their shot, Adams stepped to the plate, scoring 24 points to lead all scorers, 11 of which came from the free-throw line. UCLA had to go inside much of the game as the outside shot wasn't falling. The Bruins went just 1-for-12 from beyond the arc and shot 40 percent from the floor.
The strategy paid off. Adams' 13 free-throw shots were more than the entire Arizona team, who only took nine shots from the free-throw line. Four Wildcats scored in double figures, led by the 15 from Brandon Ashley. Guard Mark Lyons added 13 points, but the Wildcats offense went stagnant in the latter minutes of the game. Now, UCLA is heading to the Pac-12 tournament final.
It has been a hard-fought battle for the Bruins to make the final; they had to overcome a double-digit deficit for two straight games. UCLA will go on to face the winner between the No. 3 Oregon Ducks and the surprising No. 10 Utah Utes on Saturday.