LOS ANGELES, CA – It was a tale of two halves as the Arizona Basketball team (14-8, 8-8), fell to the UCLA Bruins (15-5, 11-3) following a hot shooting half by the Bruins.
James Akinjo finished the game with 21 points on 6-14 shooting, meanwhile, Azoulas Tubelis ended his day with 18 points on 8-12 shooting, however, it wasn’t enough for the Wildcats, as they lost to the UCLA Bruins for the second time this season, falling 74-60 in Los Angeles.
Despite opening the game on a 12-4 run and taking it to UCLA, it was only a matter of time until the Bruins would start to find a rhythm in this one, and boy did they ever.
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Trading the lead for much of the first half, the Wildcats would pull ahead by seven at 27-20 with 6:59 to play following a Kerr Kriisa three-pointer, however, the Bruins ended the half on a 10-4 run, to cut Arizona’s lead to one at 31-30 at the break.
Unfortunately, it was a tale of two halves, as the UCLA Bruins ran away with this one, using a sharp-shooting second-half performance.
Playing on his 20th birthday, it was certainly a night to remember for sophomore UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez, Jr., as the Southern California native had a big night, scoring 25 points (his career-high) on 10-12 shooting.
The Bruins and Wildcats would exchange the lead a few times in the second half before pulling ahead 38-37 with 16:22 to play in the half and never looking back.
Relying on efficient offense and a stifling defense, however, the real story was how the Wildcats would go ice cold from the field in the second half, finishing on just 9-24 shooting.
Arizona would pull within five at 55-50 with 6:30 to play, but unfortunately, that was the only comeback the Wildcats could muster in this one, as the Bruins closed out the game on a 19-5 run to seal the 14-point victory and eventual sweep over Arizona.
With the loss, Arizona now falls to 14-8 (8-8) and will wait to face the Pac-12 leading No. 17 USC Trojans in Los Angeles on Saturday. The game against the Trojans is set for 4 PM MST on FOX.