The 2013 Pac-12 men’s basketball champion UCLA Bruins. twitter.com/UCLAMBB/status…
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) March 9, 2013
UCLA has won the Pac-12 regular season championship for the first time since 2008.
The Bruins clinched a share of the title with a 61-54 win over turnover-prone Washington, their first road victory over the Huskies since 2004. A few minutes later, Utah finished off Oregon with a 10-point win in Salt Lake City, leaving UCLA alone at the top of the conference.
Again, the team can thank senior point guard Larry Drew II, who has put in an impressive one-year stint in blue and gold. A month after hitting a game-winner against UW, Drew came up with a key steal and a layup that stretched the lead to five points with 32.6 seconds left.
“I’m sure I still have plenty of doubters,” the former UNC transfer said earlier this week. “I plan on erasing those as well sometime in the near future.”
The school’s new single-season assist leader finished with seven points and six assists. Freshman Shabazz Muhammad also went on a scoring tear late in the second half, accounting for seven of his team’s nine points as he put in a game-high 21 on 8-of-17 shooting.
UCLA exploited Washington’s season-long struggle with to take care of the ball, outscoring the Huskies 29-9 in points off turnovers.