Pac-12 regular season ends for men’s basketball with failed comeback against Utah
Freshman guard David Singleton scored all 13 of his points in the second half of UCLA men’s basketball’s loss to Utah on Saturday. Singleton shot 3-of-7 from deep to end the regular season atop the Pac-12 leaderboard in 3-point percentage.
(Michael Zshornack/Daily Bruin senior staff)
By Sam Connon
March 9, 2019 7:09 p.m.
Just when it looked like the Bruins might return the favor, the Utes did what they had been doing all night – hit 3s.
UCLA men’s basketball (16-15, 9-9 Pac-12) ended its regular season with a 92-81 loss to Utah (17-13, 11-7). The Bruins were down by 20 at the half, and trailed by as many as 27 in the game, but they were able to cut the Ute lead to single digits with 6:44 remaining.
Freshman guard David Singleton – who was scoreless in the first half – dropped 13 in the second period, with all of those points coming in a seven-minute stretch. His hot streak was capped off by a 3-pointer that brought UCLA within eight with under seven to play.
The Bruins’ comeback was reminiscent of the Utes’ 23-point comeback in Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 9. The game ended on a buzzer-beating triple by guard Parker Van Dyke that gave Utah the 93-92 win.
But while the Bruins’ comeback efforts didn’t wind up emulating the Utes’ on Saturday, Van Dyke was able to play spoiler yet again.
A layup by sophomore guard Jaylen Hands – the first of his two field goals of the night – brought the Bruins back to within nine with 2:08 left on the clock. On the ensuing possession, Van Dyke drove a stake through the heart of the Bruins by hitting a dagger from downtown to put the game away.
Van Dyke scored 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting, with all of his attempts coming from long range. Utah’s leading scorer, guard Sedrick Barefield, hit five 3s of his own en route to a 29-point performance.
The Utes knocked down a season-high 17 3-pointers, compared to the Bruins’ six. UCLA and Utah were nearly even in field goal percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, second chance points, points off turnovers and fast break points.
After freshman center Moses Brown was benched before the game for violating UCLA student-athlete policies this week, redshirt freshman forward Jalen Hill got the start at center. Hill scored 12 points, matching his season-high from the first matchup against Utah.
Hill went 6-of-7 from the field in the first Utah game and 5-of-8 on Saturday. He also reeled in 13 boards – his second-highest total of the year. Hill played 32 minutes, also his second-highest mark of the year behind his 33 minutes in the first game against the Utes.
Hands scored seven points to go along with four assists and four turnovers, while fellow sophomore guard Kris Wilkes led the Bruins in scoring with 20.
Wilkes shot 9-of-12 from the charity stripe, hitting almost half of the Bruins’ 20 free throws. He went 1-of-4 from deep, but did not record a turnover in his 38 minutes on the court.
With the loss, UCLA will be penciled in as either the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament. The Bruins would have secured the No. 3 seed and a bye with two wins this weekend, but they were sent home on the losing end of a road sweep instead.