Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points, Larry Drew II came up with another huge shot against Washington, and No. 23 UCLA clinched the Pacific-12 Conference regular season title with a 61-54 win over the Huskies on Saturday.
UCLA earned its third regular-season crown under coach Ben Howland. The Bruins lost control of the conference crown when they lost to Washington State on Thursday, but their win at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, as well as Oregon's 72-62 loss to Utah on Saturday, returned UCLA to the top of the conference. And there were plenty of hugs and handshakes to go around on the Bruins bench after winning in Seattle for the first time since 2004.
Muhammad scored 14 in the second half and helped UCLA (23-8, 13-5 Pac-12) rally from a four-point deficit with 5 minutes remaining. Scott Suggs had 14 points, but Washington (17-14, 9-9) scored just two points over the final 5 minutes. Leading scorer C.J. Wilcox was just 3 of 13 shooting for eight points.
Jordan Adams added 17 points and Travis Wear had 10 for the Bruins, who avoided being swept in the state of Washington for the first time since 1993. Drew hit the winning shot at the buzzer against Washington in early February in Los Angeles and came up with another huge basket in the final minute again.
Drew finished with seven points and became UCLA's single-season assists leader, passing Pooh Richardson. UCLA also took advantage of Washington's 19 turnovers, turning them into 29 points.
Down by one at the half, UCLA started the second half on a roll, hitting five of its first six shots. Adams and Muhammad combined for the first 10 points of the half as the Bruins took their largest lead at 40-33 with 16:20 left. Suggs hit a 3 for Washington and the Bruins failed to extend the lead on three straight possessions and Andrew Andrews hit an open 3 to trim UCLA's lead to 40-39. David Wear scored on a dunk in transition and Muhammad bounced in a jumper for a five-point lead.
Andrews hit a jumper and after nearly 3 minutes without points, Abdul Gaddy's jumper and Andrews' steal and layup pulled the Huskies even at 45 with 8:56 left. Norman Powell had an open baseline drive, but 7-footer Aziz N'Diaye quickly rotated and smothered the shot, leading to Suggs' jumper in the lane that gave Washington a 47-45 lead with 7:56 left.
Muhammad briefly pulled UCLA even before N'Diaye's three-point play and Gaddy scoring on an inbound pass for a 52-47 lead. N'Diaye added another huge block, this time on Adams and did a few push-ups while lying on the ground, but the Huskies missed three good opportunities to extend the lead including Wilcox's open 3 rimming out before Anderson and Muhammad both scored to draw even at 52-all.
Following a Washington turnover its 17th Muhammad split free throws, but Anderson tipped out the offensive rebound. Muhammad was fouled again and hit both free throws for a 55-52 UCLA lead with 2:33 left. Wilcox again had an open 3-pointer rim out and after another Huskies turnover, Adams hit two free throws with 1:14 remaining and UCLA's lead was 57-52.
After missing seven straight shots, Kemp slipped open for a lob dunk to cut the deficit to three with 1:03 left. UCLA drained the shot clock and Drew beat Suggs off the dribble for a driving layup with 32.6 left that proved to be the clinching basket.
Shawn Kemp Jr. added 10 points for Washington, but eight came in the first half. He was the only other Huskies player in double figures.