Arizona Basketball loses to hot shooting UCLA Bruins

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.

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.

Following the teams’ fifth loss in the last seven games, head coach Sean Miller had this to say” We could not stop them… Their offense overwhelmed our defense.”

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.