Juzang's 23 points helps No. 9 UCLA fend off Colorado
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Johnny Juzang scored 23 points, including a pair of crucial free throws with 16 seconds left, and ninth-ranked UCLA held off Colorado 71-65 on Saturday night.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 14 points for the Bruins (13-2, 5-1 Pac-12), and Tyger Campbell atoned for an off night when he sank his only basket, a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with 1:27 remaining after the Buffaloes (12-6, 4-4) had cut their deficit to 62-61.
The Buffs never could grab the lead. They had a chance to tie it a 65 when Jabari Walker, who led Colorado with 19 points, missed a layup as the clock ticked under 20 seconds.
Juzang sank both free throws with 16 seconds remaining to make it 67-63 and after another Walker misfire, Jules Bernard sank a pair of foul shots with 6.7 seconds left.
Bernand made another pair of foul shots with 1.6 seconds left after K.J. Simpson's fast-break layup for the final score.
For for first 30 minutes, it looked like the Bruins were going to have an easy tuneup for their showdown next week against third-ranked Arizona, but the Buffs chipped away from their 15-point halftime deficit to make a game of it to the very end.
The Buffaloes also lost a 61-58 heartbreaker to No. 16 USC on Thursday night. They fell to 0-5 against ranked teams this season, including 0-2 against the Bruins. Last year, they were 3-3 against teams in the Top 25.
The Bruins were unable to maintain their big lead in the second half. Colorado pulled to 53-47 with a little over eight minutes left on back-to-back buckets from Tristan de Silva, who went in when Walker limped off the court favoring his right leg with 10:35 left.
Walker returned with eight minutes remaining and scored on a fastbreak while being fouled by Jaquez Jr. with 3:50 left.
The bucket made it 58-54 and his free throw after a timeout made it 58-55.
Juzang hit two jumpers and Campbell, who averages 12.1 points, made his only basket, to help fend off the Buffaloes, who trailed 43-28 at halftime after scoring just one basket in the final 8:06 of the first half.
After outscoring the Buffs 18-0 in points off turnovers in the first half, the Bruins watched their big lead dwindle to one points but they never lost the lead when it became a one-possession game in the final minute. The Buffs made it a contest but they'll lament their first half, when they made just seven baskets, including just three 2-pointers.
With three straight wins, the Bruins have bounced back nicely from their overtime loss to Oregon. Now comes their showdown with third-ranked Arizona on Tuesday night, the biggest game in the Pac-12 this season — at least until Feb. 3, when they do it again in Tucson, Arizona.
Arizona-UCLA square-off Tuesday night at Pauley Pavilion. The Buffs hit the road for three games beginning with a trip to Oregon on Tuesday night.
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