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UCLA's big Pac-12 tournament win over Arizona comes with big loss

Bruins' 66-64 victory in Pac-12 semifinal is tempered by season-ending injury to Jordan Adams, who leads UCLA with 24 points but suffers broken foot on final play.

March 15, 2013|By Chris Foster

LAS VEGAS — Jordan Adams, the UCLA freshman few talked about last summer, will be water cooler chatter this morning. The tone of the conversation will vary.

There will be upbeat, did-you-see-that talk about Adams, who scored 11 points in the last six minutes to bring the Bruins from behind in a 66-64 victory over Arizona in a Pac-12 tournament semifinal Friday.

There will be the downcast can-you-believe-it remorse about Adams, who broke his right foot on the game's last play and is lost for the season.

Solomon Hill missed a jumper with five seconds left and the clock ran out in the scramble for the ball. That sent the Bruins rushing the court at MGM Garden Arena in celebration . . . except for Adams.

He hobbled past the Arizona bench, then doubled over in pain.

"My foot rolled when I landed," Adams, UCLA's second-leading scorer this season, said before being taken for X-rays. "It just hurt."

The separation pain will hit the Bruins on Saturday, when they play Oregon in the tournament final. The Ducks defeated Utah, 64-45, Friday night.

"We're not going to celebrate this win, one of our family got hurt," guard Norman Powell said. "We'll move on to the next game."

That the Bruins moved into the next game because of Adams, who was a human defibrillator. He scored 24 points, 16 in the second half.

"I knew Jordan was that dude when I first watched him play in the summer," guard Larry Drew II said.

Most only mentioned him in passing when talking about the nation's No. 2-ranked recruiting class. Adams was shunned by postseason high school all-star games and heard people ask about fellow UCLA freshmen Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad.

"I know about that, people talking about what you can and cannot do, not being as heralded as other guys," Drew said. "That's just talk. Come out on the court and play."

Adams did, with a six-minute burst that gave the Bruins a third victory over Arizona this season, an impressive sweep with Coach Ben Howland's job on the line.

How big was the victory? Athletic Director Dan Guerrero and Associate Athletic Director Mark Harlan came to the locker room afterward.

A week ago, Guerrero was behind the bench at Washington when the Bruins clinched the conference championship. He did not come to the locker room after that game.

Those are intrigues going on floors above UCLA's players. Their concerns were ground level Friday.

UCLA (25-8) was shouted down from the start Friday. The only thing neutral about this court was its tan color, as "U of A" chants were called out more frequently than Keno numbers.

The Wildcats (25-7) rode that emotion into the second half, leading by as many as 11 points.

"It didn't feel like Las Vegas. It felt like Tucson," Muhammad said.

Said Adams: "They can cheer all they want to now. I'm just happy we beat them."

Adams handled that. With Arizona leading, 53-49, he scored 11 consecutive points for UCLA, starting with a steal and layup.

Adams closed his run by picking clean Arizona's Mark Lyons, and was fouled on the other end. He made both free throws for a 64-61 lead.

"I was waiting for him to do a crossover dribble," Adams said. "New York guys love that crossover."

Even Adams' missed shots paid off. His three-point try came off the rim. Anderson was there for the rebound and layup, giving UCLA a 66-64 lead with 23 seconds left.

"We won because of Jordan," Drew said.

Now they have to try to win without him.

Ducks advance

Damyean Dotson and E.J. Singler scored 14 points each for third-seeded Oregon, which raced away from Utah early and rolled to 64-45 win in the other semifinal.

The Ducks (25-8) had their regular-season conference title hopes spoiled by the Utes (15-18) last weekend but gave them no chance of a repeat upset Friday.

The third-seeded Ducks built a 14-point lead in the first half and kept the cushion near double figures the rest of the way to earn a spot in tonight's title game.

Twitter: @cfosterlatimes

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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