Saturday’s Top 25: UCLA edges Arizona; Gonzaga falls
Tucson, Ariz. — Thomas Welsh scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and No. 5 UCLA dominated the offensive boards to beat No. 4 Arizona 77-72 in a Pac-12 showdown Saturday night.
The Bruins (26-3, 13-3) snapped Arizona’s 21-game home court winning streak and dropped the Wildcats (26-4, 15-2) into a tie with Oregon for first place in the Pac-12 heading into the final week of the regular season. The Ducks hold the tiebreaker by beating Arizona in the teams’ only meeting.
UCLA, avenging a 96-85 home loss to Arizona on Jan. 21, trailed 53-49 at the half but took control with a 19-4 second-half run.
Allonzo Trier scored a career-high 28 for the Wildcats. Parker Jackson-Cartwright added 11, and Lauri Markkanen had 10 for Arizona.
Five players reached double figures for the Bruins, led by Bryce Alford’s 15. TJ Leaf and Aaron Holiday added 12 each, and Lonzo Ball had 11 along with eight assists.
UCLA had 19 second-chance points to Arizona’s four. In the second half, the Bruins outrebounded the Wildcats 9-1 on the offensive boards.
The Bruins switched to a zone most of the second half and stretched the lead to 11 twice late in the game, the last at 73-62 on Welsh’s’ inside basket with 4:38 to play before Arizona managed one final charge, finishing the game on a 10-4 run.
Markkanen’s two free throws cut the Bruins’ lead to 75-72 with 29.2 seconds to play. Holiday missed the first of a one-and-one free throw opportunity and Arizona had a chance to tie it but Kadeem Allen, with a dislocated pinkie finger on his shooting hand, threw up an air ball from 3-point range.
After trailing by as many as seven points, Arizona outscored the Bruins 10-1 over the last 2 1/2 minutes of the first half to lead 43-39 at the break. Jackson-Cartwright scored seven in the surge.
UCLA took the lead for good, 54-53, on Welsh’s basket with 12:52 to play.
Brigham Young 79, (at) No. 1 Gonzaga 71: Eric Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds to help BYU end the Bulldogs’ bid to go undefeated in the final game of the regular season.
Nigel Williams-Goss scored 19 points for Gonzaga (29-1, 17-1 West Coast Conference), which was seeking to become the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to finish the regular season without a loss.
Mika’s basket with a minute left gave BYU (21-10, 12-6) a 73-71 lead.
Gonzaga lost the ball on its next two possessions, and Corbin Kaufusi had a putback and Mika hit two free throws to put it out of reach.
The last team to finish the entire season undefeated was Indiana in 1975-76.
(At) No. 2 Villanova 79, No. 23 Creighton 63: Eric Paschall scored a season-high 19 points and Josh Hart added 16 to help Villanova wrap up its fourth straight Big East regular-season title.
Kris Jenkins scored 15 points and Mikal Bridges had 11 for the defending national champion Wildcats (27-3, 14-3).
Marcus Foster scored 25 points and Khyri Thomas had 17 for Creighton (22-7, 9-7). It has lost six of 10 after an 18-1 start.
No. 3 Kansas 77, (at) Texas 67: Josh Jackson scored 18 points and Frank Mason III added 16 to help Kansas beat Texas and win its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship outright.
Devonte Graham and Dwight Coleby added points 12 each for the Jayhawks (26-3, 14-2 Big 12).
Jarrett Allen led Texas (10-19, 4-12) with 20 points, and Andrew Jones added 18.
No. 5 Oregon 75, (at) Stanford 73: Jordan Bell scored on a putback with 14 seconds left to give Oregon a rare Bay Area sweep.
Bell’s winner followed Dillon Brooks’ last-second, tiebreaking 3-pointer three nights earlier at California to give Oregon (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12) its second sweep of its conference Bay Area rivals since 1976.
Tyler Dorsey scored 15 points to lead Oregon, while Brooks added 14.
Reid Travis had 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way for the Cardinal (14-14, 6-10).
No. 8 North Carolina 85, (at) Pittsburgh 67: Justin Jackson scored 23 points, Joel Berry added 19 and North Carolina continued its march to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title.
The Tar Heels (25-5, 13-3) have won four straight following a loss to arch rival Duke two weeks ago. North Carolina can clinch its second straight ACC regular season crown and 31st overall with a win at No. 18 Virginia on Monday.
Michael Young and fellow senior Jamel Artis finished with 17 points each for the Panthers (15-14, 4-12).
(At) Iowa State 72, No. 9 Baylor 69: Deonte Burton scored 22 points, including a crucial 3 with 1:17 left, and Iowa State won its fifth straight.
Monte Morris had 17 points with seven assists for the Cyclones (19-9, 11-5 Big 12), who have their longest winning streak in league play since a seven-game stretch in 2005.
Johnathan Motley had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor (23-6, 10-6).
(At) Miami 55, No. 10 Duke 50: Bruce Brown scored 25 points, and Miami held Duke a staggering 32 points below its season average.
Brown shot 11 for 18 and had four assists, while his teammates shot just 11 for 40 with four assists combined. Yet it was enough for the Hurricanes (20-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who dominated inside and outscored Duke 40-20 in the paint.
Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard each scored 16 points for Duke (22-7, 10-6), which lost its second straight to an unranked opponent.
(At) No. 11 Kentucky 76, No. 13 Florida 66: Malik Monk scored 30 of his 33 points in the second half and Bam Adebayo added 18 points with 15 rebounds as Kentucky took over the Southeastern Conference lead.
While another week remains in SEC play for both teams, the Wildcats (24-5, 14-2) took an important step by twice rallying from eight points down to win the pivotal matchup. And they can thank Monk for making it happen as he scored 14 points during an 18-10 run that tied the game at 55 with 9:54 remaining.
KeVaughn Allen had 24 points and Justin Leon added 13 for Florida (23-6, 13-3), which had won nine straight.
No. 12 West Virginia 61, (at) TCU 60: Daxter Miles Jr. made a free throw with 4.8 seconds left for West Virginia.
Miles went to the free-throw line after a questionable foul against Jaylen Fisher, who never left the ground and appeared to make only slight incidental contact with Miles.
TCU (17-12, 6-10 Big 12), which had tied the game on Alex Robinson’s free throw with 9.1 seconds left, had one more chance but Desmond Bane’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was well short.
Jevon Carter had 15 points for West Virginia (23-6, 11-5), while Nathan Adrian added 13.
Fisher had 18 points to lead TCU, which lost its fifth straight.
No. 17 SMU 69, (at) UConn 61: Shake Milton had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead SMU.
The Mustangs (25-4, 15-1 American Athletic Conference) won their 11th straight. Semi Ojeleye added 16 points.
The Huskies (14-14, 9-7), who have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak, were led by Kentan Facey’s 15 points.
No. 18 Virginia 70, (at) N.C. State 55: Freshman Kyle Guy scored 19 points to help Virginia end a four-game losing streak.
Devon Hall added 18 points for the Cavaliers (19-9, 9-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 49 percent and made 11 of 16 3-pointers.
Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. scored 13 points for the Wolfpack (15-15, 4-13).
No. 19 Florida State 76, (at) Clemson 74: Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, including the go-ahead basket with 1:22 left, to lift Florida State.
Jonathan Isaac of Florida State (23-6, 11-5) blocked Shelton Mitchell’s drive with 11 seconds left and, after Trent Forrest made a free throw for the Seminoles, Marcquise Reed came up short on a mid-range jumper with 5 seconds to go.
Jaron Blossomgame had 24 points for Clemson (14-14, 4-12).
No. 20 Saint Mary’s 70, (at) Santa Clara 56: Jock Landale scored 17 points and Saint Mary’s beat Santa Clara in the West Coast Conference regular-season finale for both teams.
Emmett Naar and Calvin Hermanson scored 13 points each for the Gaels (26-3, 15-3). Jared Brownridge and Matt Hauser scored 15 points each for Santa Clara (16-15, 10-8).
No. 25 Wichita State 86, (at) Missouri St. 67: Landry Shamet scored a career-best 23 points as Wichita State clinched at least a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title for a fourth straight season.
The title is the fifth in six seasons for the Shockers (27-4, 17-1), who have won 12 straight games and appear well on their way to a sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Dequon Miller had 19 points for the Bears (16-15, 7-11).