No. 5 UCLA finds a way to hold off Arizona State

TEMPE, Ariz. —  Simply hold discovering a manner.That was the mandate for UCLA on Thursday night time, the fifth-ranked Bruins teetering late of their Pac-12 Convention showdown with Arizona State whereas endangering the nation’s longest successful streak amongst main convention groups.Extending the streak would maintain the midseason enjoyable whereas additionally stopping the Solar Devils from shifting right into a tie atop the convention standings. It could additionally put UCLA midway to a desert sweep that ESPN’s Joe Lunardi mentioned may vault the group to a projected No. 1 seed within the NCAA match.Every part remained in play after the Bruins’ newest escape, a 74-62 victory at Desert Monetary Area that got here courtesy of extra late gutsy play.Smothered for many of an evening through which he bricked two layups and back-to-back free throws, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. buried a three-pointer late within the shot clock to offer his group a six-point lead with about 21/2 minutes left. He added a turnaround jumper to increase the benefit as a part of a game-ending 16-2 run.“I knew my shot was going to fall when it wanted to fall,” mentioned Jaquez, who may smile after making solely 4 of 12 photographs for 9 factors. “I’m probably not anxious about that.”The Bruins (17-2 general, 8-0 Pac-12) wanted the supplementary offense with Tyger Campbell and David Singleton carrying such a heavy load. Campbell led his group with 22 factors and Singleton had 21 whereas making 4 of six three-pointers.The highest scorers additionally led the celebration of their group’s 14th consecutive victory, Campbell rapping his brow with clenched fists and Singleton cupping his hand to an ear whereas taking a look at a document scholar part of 5,213 that had grown silent within the near-sellout crowd of 13,363.“It’s been enjoyable flying below the radar the final couple of months,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin mentioned whereas addressing solely two reporters after a recreation that was known as by distant FS1 broadcasters. “Due to what occurred in [Las] Vegas, I feel folks gave up on us.”Cronin was alluding to his group’s two losses, which got here in a span of three days in late November. Illinois and Baylor prevailed over the Bruins largely due to success making three-pointers, a system that Arizona State (15-4, 6-2) tried to duplicate.The Solar Devils made 9 of twenty-two photographs from past the arc, together with one from Frankie Collins that pushed them right into a 60-58 lead earlier than UCLA commenced its remaining surge. Arizona State’s late-game execution faltered towards a protection that tightened significantly.Solar Devils guard DJ Horne went scoreless within the second half after blistering the Bruins for 14 factors by halftime. UCLA’s Jamie Jaquez Jr. (24) is greeted by Dylan Andrews (2) after hitting a three-pointer towards Arizona State late within the second half on Thursday in Tempe, Ariz.(Darryl Webb / Related Press) “We’re top-of-the-line defensive groups within the nation,” Cronin mentioned after Arizona State closed the sport by making solely considered one of its final eight photographs, “and we’ve confirmed it over this successful streak.”Someway, shorthanded as soon as once more with Amari Bailey sitting out a sixth consecutive recreation due to discomfort in his left foot, the Bruins saved discovering the power to return again.Trailing by as many as six factors, the Bruins moved right into a 58-57 lead with 6:34 left when freshman heart Adem Bona made considered one of two free throws after a Singleton nook three-pointer had tied the rating. A number of of Singleton’s photographs got here off passes from Jaquez, who logged 5 assists whereas discovering the open teammate.“They have an inclination to swarm and assault the dribbler,” Cronin mentioned, “and the sport plan was after they try this to seek out Dave.”UCLA additionally needed to squeeze extra manufacturing out of a bench that had been held scoreless final weekend towards Colorado. That mission was doubly vital contemplating Arizona State’s rotation goes 10 deep.Freshman guard Dylan Andrews offered a set off the bench with 5 fast factors within the first half — plus a technical foul for obvious taunting after he acquired snarled in midair with Arizona State’s Devan Cambridge on a dunk and mentioned one thing to his Solar Devils counterpart earlier than heading again down the court docket.Andrews completed with seven factors, all coming together with his group trailing.“Dylan’s baskets tonight, big,” Cronin mentioned. “I’m speaking about towards an actual group, on this atmosphere, it offers you plenty of confidence for his future.”A notable reinforcement may arrive earlier than the top of the weekend. Cronin mentioned Bailey appeared good within the group’s shootaround Thursday and may be capable of play towards Arizona on Saturday relying on how he felt Friday.