LAS VEGAS — Listless for the first half, UCLA Bruins recovered barely in time to advance in today’s Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal against Arizona State, 80-75.
The Sun Devils led by 15 points with 16:42 to play, buoyed by center Jordan Bachynski and point guard Jahii Carson, but watched as the Bruins chipped away at the lead before finally catching up.
The Bruins trailed by eight with 7:46 to go, before Shabazz Muhammad rattled off the next six points. The Pac-12’s co-Freshman of the Year made a tip-in and two layups to pull within one.
With 4:58 to play, Larry Drew II — who finished with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting — made a three-pointer to give the Bruins their first lead since UCLA was up, 7-5.
Carson, who scored 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting, tied the game at 74. Evan Gordon made two free throws with 1:43 left to go up two, but Travis Wear matched him with two of his own.
Gordon made one of two free throws with 1:19 to go, but two jumpers by Wear gave the Bruins a three-point edge with 12 seconds to play.
Carson drove the right side of the lane and kicked to ASU forward Jonathan Gilling, whose three-point attempt rimmed out with 5 seconds left.
The Bruins play the winner of today's Arizona-Colorado game Friday night at 6.