Nearing the end of his lone season at UCLA, senior point guard Larry Drew II carved a place at the top of the program’s record books. The North Carolina transfer set a new single-season assist record with his fourth on Saturday against, feeding the ball upcourt to forward David Wear for an open dunk at 13:10 in the second half. He broke Pooh Richardson’s old mark of 236, set in 1989.
Drew entered the game ranked third in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.38) and assists per game (7.8).
Washington holds a 31-30 lead at halftime, but UCLA surprisingly holds a 20-16 edge on the boards. Another anomaly? Point guard Larry Drew II only has one dime for the Bruins, who are very much in this game despite five assists against seven turnovers. Forward Travis Wear’s right foot looks healed and he leads the game with 10 points.
UCLA is only shooting 1 of 6 from 3-point range, but the Huskies are just 2 of 6 at the free throw line.
No. 23 UCLA (22-8, 12-5) at Washington (17-13, 9-8)
Tipoff: 11 a.m., Hec Edmundson Pavilion
TV/Radio: CBS/AM 570
At a glance: If UCLA wins, it will clinch a share of the Pac-12 championship and get either the No. 1 or 2 seed in the Pac-12 tourney (depending on whether Oregon wins or loses at Utah).
The Bruins haven’t beaten Washington on the road since 2004, but Hec Ed hasn’t been as intimidating as usual this year. Six teams, including three outside the top 150 in RPI, have won there by an average of eight points. The Huskies hadn’t lost more than two games at home in a season since 2007-08. Continue reading
The night couldn’t have started worse for No. 23 UCLA, which is lucky to be down just 35-24 to Washington State at halftime.
The Bruins opened the game 1 of 10 from the field while playing some porous defense against the conference’s worst team. WSU used a matchup zone to keep UCLA from getting its second field goal until almost 10 minutes had elapsed. Even without its No. 2 and No. 3 scorers — Mike Ladd (
thumb knee) and DaVonte Lacy (knee) — the Cougars ran out a 25-4 lead with eight minutes to go. Continue reading
UCLA (22-7, 12-4) at Washington State (11-18, 2-14)
Tipoff: 6:30 p.m., Beasley Coliseum
TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/AM 570
At a glance: A loss in Pullman would be inexcusable for a conference contender. Washington State hasn’t beaten UCLA in Pullman since February 1993, seven months before any of the Bruins’ four freshmen were born.
WSU has lost nine straight games, and 11 of its past 12. No other team in the conference has lost more than five in a row all season. The Cougars aren’t trending up either. Since one-point losses at home to both Oregon and Oregon State, they’ve lost their last three by an average of 11 points — allowing opponents to shoot 52.9 percent from the field over that stretch. Most comically, they’ve had 14.3 percent of their shots blocked, the worst mark in the country. Continue reading
Ben Howland didn’t see what the fuss was all about.
The UCLA coach had presumed that Shabazz Muhammad’s entry into the NBA Draft was practically common knowledge. So when the media asked if the Bruins’ star freshman had played his final game at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, Howland said yes.
On Monday, he clarified that he hadn’t received the information from Muhammad and apologized for speaking out of turn — while suggesting that a player of that caliber would still be better off going pro.
“I’m sometimes too honest,” Howland said. “It would have been better to answer that question differently the other day. I’ve never discussed it with Shabazz. It’s kind of obvious when a kid’s a lottery pick that they’re going to the NBA in this day and age. … Continue reading
UCLA earned itself a solid 74-69 victory against Arizona Saturday night, a convincing win that keeps the Bruins controlling a share of the Pac-12 lead (game story here). The Bruins also clinched a first-round bye in the conference tournament, and will finish no lower than a third seed. Look for them to finally be ranked again for the first time since January.
Some notes: Continue reading
Ever since his hype as the nation’s top recruit, UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been almost universally regarded as a one-and-done — bound for the NBA Draft after his spending a season showing off his wares in college.
After the Bruins beat Arizona 74-69 in their last home game of the season, coach Ben Howland said he expected that to still hold true.
“I’m very much a realist now,” Howland said. “I knew going into this that it was a one-year deal. And it should be. He’s a lottery pick. He’s a top-five pick. When you have that going for you, it is absolutely the right thing for him. That was his last game at Pauley Pavilion, no doubt about it. Continue reading
UCLA controlled the entire game, never trailing after three minutes in a 74-69 win that keeps the team in control of its own destiny. Arizona closed to within three points in the final minute, but a clutch rebound by freshman Shabazz Muhammad all but sealed the victory. Muhammad went to the line and sank two free throws to cap the final score, serenaded by “One more year!” cheers as he did.
Muhammad scored a game-high 18 after being limited by foul trouble early, followed closely behind by Kyle Anderson’s 17. Four Bruins scored in double figures.
This is UCLA’s first season sweep over Arizona since 2008. The attendance of 13,727 is a stadium record.
UPDATE: Here’s the game story, as well as Jill Painter’s column on Shabazz Muhammad.
UCLA (21-7, 11-4) vs. No. 11 Arizona (23-5, 11-5)
Tipoff: 6 p.m., Pauley Pavilion
TV/Radio: ESPN/AM 570
At a glance: Both Arizona and UCLA need a win to boost their chances at a Pac-12 Championship. Oregon currently sits in first place at 12-4, and has road games left against Colorado and Utah. The Ducks, who now have point guard Dominic Artis again, likely won’t drop both.
As it stands, the Bruins can still claim a share of the conference title as long as they win out. Oregon’s head-to-head tiebreaker will give them the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament assuming UCLA finishes with the same record. Continue reading