Johnny Juzang scored a game-high 23 points and delivered several clutch plays late as No. 9-ranked UCLA held off Pac-12 Conference opponent Colorado 71-65 Saturday in Boulder, Colo.
Juzang grabbed a critical defensive rebound with 22 seconds remaining -- the last of his team-high six -- and the Bruins (13-2, 5-1 Pac-12) clinging to a two-point lead. His ensuing free throws gave UCLA breathing room after it nearly coughed up a big second-half lead.
The Bruins opened the game on a 12-2 run, then -- after Colorado cut the deficit to one point -- deluged the Buffaloes with a 22-8 outpouring over the final 7:47 of the first half. Juzang sent UCLA into intermission with a tip-in score at the buzzer.
UCLA pushed its lead to 17 points in the first few minutes of the second half and appeared headed for an easy win. But Colorado held the Bruins to just eight points for almost 13 minutes and chipped away at the gap.
The Buffaloes pulled to within three points repeatedly after the final media timeout, but Juzang responded with baskets twice. Evan Battey scored two of his 15 points on a hook shot in the key, then grabbed one of his three rebounds on the other end to set up Colorado with possession.
Tristan da Silva drew a defender while penetrating, then dished to a wide-open Jabari Walker for a dunk that pulled Colorado to within a point. Walker finished with a team-high 19 points and matched K.J. Simpson's game-high seven rebounds.
UCLA's Tyger Campbell scored just four points but hit his lone successful field goal of the night on a 3-pointer the next time down. The jumper pushed the Bruins' lead back to four points and ultimately made the difference, but Colorado had one last gasp.
The Buffaloes (12-6, 4-4) had possession down 65-63 in the waning seconds. Simpson, who scored 10 points off the bench, attacked the rim, but his layup to tie the game rimmed off to set up Juzang's key rebound.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 14 points for UCLA, including a crucial 3-pointer late. Jules Bernard added nine points and shot 4-of-4 from the free throw line, and the Bruins went 15-of-18 from the charity stripe as a team.
--Field Level Media