Adams leads UCLA past Washington 91-82
SEATTLE (AP) Jordan Adams scored a career-high 31 points, fighting through apparent leg cramps in the second half, and UCLA wrapped up the No. 2 seed in next week’s Pac-12 Conference tournament with a 91-82 win over Washington on Thursday night.
Adams scored 16 points in the first 12-plus minutes of the second half before having to sit with his legs appearing to cramp.
When Adams returned, it was Seattle-area native Zach LaVine taking over, scoring 11 of his 14 points in the final five minutes for UCLA (23-7, 12-5 Pac-12). LaVine’s closing punch included a three-point play off a Washington turnover with 1:24 left that gave the Bruins an 87-77 lead and finally put the Huskies away.
C.J. Wilcox led Washington (16-14, 8-9) with 20 points despite sitting for more than five minutes of the second half with foul trouble. Nigel Williams-Goss added 17 points.
Adams was extremely efficient, making 11 of 15 shots and 8 of 9 free throw attempts. LaVine had just three points at halftime, but the Bothell, Wash., native, who nearly chose Washington over UCLA, came up huge in the closing minutes.
Ryan Anderson and Bryce Alford both finished with 12 points for the Bruins.
Washington saw its hopes for a bye in the conference tournament end. The Huskies shot 55 percent and made 9 of 19 3-point attempts, but could not overcome allowing 23 points off of turnovers, 18 of those coming in the second half.
Adams scored six points during a 2 1/2 minute stretch of the second half when UCLA put together its decisive run. His breakaway layup with 8:41 left gave the Bruins a 70-64 lead. Darin Johnson answered with a tough drive for Washington, but Tony Parker scored in the lane and Alford knocked down a 3-pointer for a 75-66 lead with 7:16 left, the biggest lead of the game for either team.
Adams checked out and trainers worked on the muscles above and below both of his knees, appearing to try and loosen them.
With Adams out, Anderson scored on a lumbering drive through the lane to push the Bruins lead to nine, but the Huskies got within 77-71 on Williams-Goss’ driving layup. During a quick timeout by UCLA, Adams was taken back into the tunnel area behind the Bruins’ bench and returned just in time to see LaVine score on a drive to get the lead back to eight. Adams checked back in with the Bruins leading 79-73.
Two free throws from Wilcox got the Huskies within four, but LaVine answered with a twisting basket at the other end while also drawing Wilcox’s fourth foul, the start of six straight points by the Bruins.
The highly entertaining first half saw Washington shoot nearly 59 percent and the teams exchange the lead 17 times. Neither team led by more than seven points and only a late run by the Huskies, most of it with Wilcox on the bench, gave them the lead at the break.
Both teams saw their stars take over scoring for stretches of the half. Adams did early with 10 of UCLA’s first 14 points, and then it was Wilcox in the middle of the half with a trio of 3-pointers in a four-minute stretch. Then it was Andrew Andrews in the closing minutes, sparking a 14-5 Washington run that erased a 36-31 deficit. Andrews scored six of his 10 points in the final five minutes and Washington held a 45-41 lead at the break.