Jan. 5, 2006
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - For the first time in nine years, the Bruins were winners at McKale Center.
Arron Afflalo scored 22 points and No. 17 UCLA, which shot 61 percent, held off a late Arizona rally to beat the 21st-ranked Wildcats 85-79 on Thursday night.
"We hit some tough shots," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "It was a night of tough shots."
The Bruins (12-2, 2-1 Pac-10) never trailed in the second half and were up by as many as nine points, but the Wildcats (9-4, 2-1) twice cut the lead to two in the final minute.
Afflalo's biggest basket may have been the running, 12-foot bank shot that put the Bruins ahead 75-68 with 3:14 to go.
"I take that shot when I play around," he said. "It is not something I would ever insist on playing in the game. The situation made it one I had to go to."
Howland called it "a huge shot and a huge play."
"They played well. You've got to give props where it's due," Arizona's Hassan Adams said. "That ball was just bouncing their way, really it was."
Adams scored 21 points, while Marcus Williams added 19 for Arizona. Ivan Radenovic had 17 points, Chris Rodgers 12 and Kirk Walters 10 in a loss that snapped the Wildcats' seven-game winning streak. Rodgers had five steals and Adams four.
The Bruins, who survived 23 turnovers, took the lead for good with a 5-0 spurt to end the first half, going up 39-35. They made it a 10-0 run by scoring the first five points of the second half, taking a 44-35 lead on Lorenzo Mata's stuff with 18:30 remaining.
Arizona scored the next six points, four on free throws by Williams, but the Bruins got the next five, capped by Afflalo's three-point play to boost the lead to 49-41 with 15:37 to play.
The Wildcats stayed within single digits, and cut it to 66-63 on Adams' steal and breakaway stuff with 6:28 remaining. But Afflalo hit a 15-footer from the baseline and Mata made three of four free throws, the last two with 5:25 left to put UCLA up 71-63.
The Wildcats made it interesting at the end for the loud home crowd. Darren Collison made two free throws to put UCLA ahead 79-72 with 1:22 to go, but Adams stole the ball at midcourt and his layup made it 79-74 with 40 seconds remaining. Rogers' stole Afflalo's inbound pass, scored and was fouled. He made the free throw to cut the lead to 79-77 with 35 seconds to play.
"We had it right there," Williams said, "but the little mistakes down the stretch just cost us."
Farmar's two free throws boosted it to 81-77, but Williams hit a 15-footer to cut the lead to 81-79 with 20 seconds left. Farmar made two more from the line with 10 seconds left, and Shipp's steal and two free throws sealed it.
"It seemed like every time they got a decent look they put it away," said Arizona coach Lute Olson, whose team was back in the national rankings after a two-week absence. "We made, I thought, too many mistakes in terms of defensive play on penetration. We gave up far too many penetrations to the basket area. Probably 95 percent were right-hand drives and that's the thing we needed to take away."
UCLA shot 68 percent (17-for-25) in the first half and 31-for-51 overall.
The Bruins scored the first eight points of the game, but the Wildcats used a 13-2 run to go up 19-14 on Williams' 14-footer with 9:47 to go.
After that, there were nine lead changes before the Bruins' late first-half spurt.