Rapid Reaction: UCLA 80, UC Irvine 79 (OT)

For the second time in three seasons, the UCLA Bruins survived a one-point game against the UC Irvine Anteaters, winning 80-79 in overtime Tuesday night at Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins defeated Irvine, 74-73, in 2010.

A quick breakdown of the game:

How it happened: Larry Drew II made a driving layup with 17 seconds left in overtime to give UCLA an 80-79 lead and the Bruins forced an air ball by Irvine’s Michael Wilder with 2 seconds left to escape with the victory.

Freshman Jordan Adams, who had 26 points to lead the Bruins in scoring for the second time in two games, scored 6 points in overtime, including 4 of 4 free throws in the final 2:43. Adams was 16-of-16 from the free throw line for the game, including a pair with 7.9 seconds left in regulation that tied the score at 67-67.

The Bruins seemed to be in total control through much of the first half and enjoyed a 27-15 lead with 5:46 left before intermission. But the Anteaters closed to within a basket by going on a 19-9 run and cut UCLA’s lead to 36-34 at the half.

The Anteaters wouldn’t go away in the second half, either. They led 67-65 when Alex Young made a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to play. After Adams tied the score, Will Davis II had a chance to give the Anteaters a lead but missed two free throws with 2.6 seconds to play, and the game went to overtime.

David Wear had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Bruins and his twin brother, Travis, had 12 points and eight rebounds. Kyle Anderson had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Drew had 10 points and eight assists.

Player of the game: Adams. The freshman continually found a way to score by getting to the free throw line, where he excels. He once made a school-record 34 in a row at Oak Hill Academy, one of the nation’s premier high school programs, in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

Stat of the game: Irvine outrebounded UCLA, 55-44. Irvine’s Daman Starring, a 6-foot-3 guard, had a game-high 10 rebounds.

What it means: The Bruins will wipe the sweat from their brows, breathe a sigh of relief and hope this scare serves as a wakeup call. Struggling against mid-majors seems to be an annual affair for UCLA in recent seasons. They have lost at least one game to a mid-major in each of the past three seasons, so they will likely feel lucky to get this one out of the way with a win.

What’s next: UCLA will face James Madison at 8 p.m. Thursday at Pauley Pavilion. Irvine returns home the same night for a 7 p.m. tipoff against Pacifica.