This, in case anyone has forgotten, was what the buzz was all about.
UCLA’s freshmen were billed as capable of anything, short of leaping tall buildings in a single bound. Those pesky expectations that came with the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class have been out of reach at times.
So the Bruins’ 88-80 victory over Stanford on Saturday afternoon in Palo Alto, Calif., was just a reminder of what was possible.
Shabazz Muhammad, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson combined for 63 of the Bruins’ points, taking out frustrations on a Cardinal team that approached defense like a suggestion. Allowed to be free-range freshmen, the three were able to bury a bad night against California and move the Bruins forward in a tightly wound Pac-12 Conference race.
“We came here to lead our team to the (NCAA) tournament and go far in the tournament,” said Muhammad, who had 25 points. “That’s what we have to do.”
The Bruins (19-7, 9-4 in conference play) won’t run into teams that play defense like Stanford in the tournament. The Cardinal (15-11, 6-7) was good medicine.
By the time the Bruins were done, memories of Thursday’s 76-63 loss to Cal had less bite.
Muhammad made 9 of 14 shots, none bigger than a three-point basket with 1 minute 52 seconds left. He was fouled, with the free throw giving the Bruins a 78-71 lead.
Adams made 7 of 9 shots, finishing with 20 points. Anderson made 6 of 12 shots and had his seventh double-double.
Arizona State 63, Colorado 62 (OT): Evan Gordon’s buzzer-beating layup in overtime lifted the Sun Devils past the Buffaloes in Boulder, Colo.
Gordon’s game-winner came after Spencer Dinwiddie’s bucket with 8.3 seconds left had given the Buffaloes a 62-61 lead. Gordon finished with 14 points.
Jahii Carson’s 18 points led the Sun Devils, which won for the first time in four tries in Boulder and swept the season series against the Buffaloes.
Dinwiddie led Colorado with 24 points and Askia Booker added 17 to break out of a four-game shooting slump.
The game was tied at 52 at the end of regulation following a furious rally by Colorado from a 54-48 deficit with 1:19 left. The Buffs tied the game on Xavier Johnson’s dunk with 2.5 seconds left and Carrick Felix missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer.