Shabazz Muhammad went up in traffic and came down with the ball in his hands, always where the star freshman wants it with the game on the line.
He got fouled in snagging the defensive rebound and made both free throws with 9 seconds remaining, helping UCLA hang on for a 74-69 victory over No. 11 Arizona on Saturday night in Los Angeles that moved the Bruins into a first-place tie with idle Oregon in the conference standings.
He finished with 18 points as UCLA fans chanted “One more year” in reference to Muhammad’s likely early departure for the NBA draft.
“I knew going into this deal that this was a one-year deal and it should be,” Bruins coach Ben Howland said. “He’s a top-five pick. When you have that going for you, it’s absolutely the right thing for him. That was absolutely his last game in Pauley Pavilion. I know that, he knows that, we all know that. We want the season to go as long as possible for him.”
Muhammad and his father said after the game that he hasn’t made a decision about his immediate future.
“It’s still a long season of basketball. I’m just going to enjoy this win,” he said, adding that he heard the fans weighing in.
“The fans here are great. I enjoyed myself the whole year. I gained a lot of experience coming here.”
Kyle Anderson added 15 of his 17 points in the first half, Larry Drew II had 14 points and nine assists in the senior’s final home game for the Bruins, and David Wear had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Freshman Grant Jerrett hit four 3-pointers in scoring 14 points, Mark Lyons added 13, and Kevin Parrom 11 for the Wildcats, who committed 16 turnovers in coach Sean Miller’s 300th career game. He is 212-88 overall and 92-41 in four seasons in the desert.
California 62, Colorado 46: Tyrone Wallace and David Kravish each had double-doubles and the Golden Bears won their seventh straight game, defeating the Buffaloes in Berkeley, Calif.
Wallace had 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Kravish had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Bears, who are in the midst of their longest winning streak in a decade.
California clinched a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
Southern Cal 57, Arizona State 56: Eric Wise scored 12 points and the Trojans held off a furious rally by the Sun Devils, defeating Arizona State in Los Angeles.
Bryon Wesley added 11 points and J.T. Terrell had 10 for USC.
Jahii Carson scored 23 points for Arizona State, which lost its third game in a row.
The Sun Devils pulled within 55-52 on Chris Colvin’s basket with 53 seconds left. USC then missed a shot at the end of the shot clock, but Wise got the rebound, was fouled and made two free throws to put USC up 57-52.