Los Angeles, CA – UCLA's heralded freshman have overcome its early-season struggles and have the Bruins eyeing their first Pac-12 championship in five years.
Shabazz Muhammad netted 18 points and Kyle Anderson added 17 in UCLA's 74-69 win over No. 11 Arizona.
The freshmen Muhammad and Anderson have helped the Bruins (22-7, 12-4 Pac-12) forge a tie atop the conference with Oregon. Muhammad was second in the league in scoring coming in, tallying 18.3 points a game, while Anderson had averages of 15.4 points and 9.1 rebounds prior to Saturday's tip.
UCLA hasn't won the Pac-12 title since winning the last of three straight in 2007-08.
Larry Drew II returned from a two-game absence due to a right foot injury and deposited 14 points and nine assists for the Bruins, who have won five straight contests.
Grant Jerrett had 14 points to lead Arizona (23-6, 11-6), which has dropped seven of its last eight meetings against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
Arizona trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, but a pair of Jerrett 3- pointers, sandwiched around a Muhammad layup, pulled the Wildcats within 72-69 with 1:11 remaining.
Drew turned the ball over at the other end, but played stellar defense on Mark Lyons as his tough floater in the paint didn't drop. Muhammad calmly sank two foul shots with 9.5 ticks on the clock to seal the win.
UCLA led 40-36 at the break, but began the second half on a 12-2 run to build a 14-point margin. Muhammad, who had five points during the surge, capped it with a three-point play to make it 52-38 with 15:26 to play.
This was Arizona head coach Sean Miller's 300th game ... Lyons recorded 13 points for the Wildcats ... Arizona committed 16 turnovers ... The Wildcats were 10-of-22 from beyond the arc.