No. 4 UCLA wins Pac-12 regular-season title by beating Colorado


No. 4 UCLA overcame a dismal shooting performance to outlast Colorado, claiming the Pac-12 Conference regular-season championship with its 60-56 win on Sunday in Boulder, Colo.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. led the Bruins with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting as UCLA ran its winning streak to eight games.

The Bruins (25-4, 16-2 Pac-12) came into Sunday’s matchup needing a win to claim an outright league title, thanks to Arizona’s loss on Saturday to Arizona State. However, Colorado jumped to an early lead of 10 points then exchanged the advantage with the visitors throughout the second half.

The Buffaloes (15-15, 7-12) pulled ahead with 4:58 left to play on a bizarre sequence in which Lawson Lovering picked up his dribble, then, after finding no passing options for several seconds, dribbled again. No call was made, and moments later, Luke O’Brien connected on a 3-pointer that pushed Colorado ahead, 49-48.

The Buffs and Bruins exchanged baskets on the next two possessions, with Colorado answering Tyger Campbell’s jump shot with Nique Clifford’s 3-pointer that gave the Buffaloes a 52-50 advantage. It was the last made field goal for the Buffs, who closed on a 4:11 shooting drought from the floor.

UCLA endured its own offensive woes, finishing the game 22 of 54 from the floor and a putrid 1 of 14 from 3-point range. Campbell made the only successful Bruins attempt from long range, part of his 14 points.

Still, UCLA got meaningful baskets down the stretch with Campbell connecting on a pull-up jumper with 1:22 remaining to extend a narrow lead to three points, then Amari Bailey throwing down a dunk off a fastbreak set up by Adem Bona’s block that effectively put the game away.

Bailey scored UCLA’s final four points and finished with 11.

Bona’s team-high seven rebounds and two blocks complemented his eight points, while Campbell came away with three steals.

KJ Simpson paced Colorado with 14 points despite going 0-for-3 from 3-point range. Both O’Brien and Tristan da Silva scored 13 points.

–Field Level Media

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