Rapid Reaction: UCLA 79, Arizona State 74

LOS ANGELES -- The UCLA Bruins fended off the feisty Arizona State Sun Devils for a 79-74 win in overtime Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion.

How it happened: Jordan Adams made a driving layup to give UCLA a 77-74 lead with 44 seconds to play in overtime, then made two free throws with 26 seconds left to seal the victory and keep the Bruins (21-7, 11-4) in first place in the Pac-12 Conference.

Arizona State, fighting for its NCAA tournament life, had a 52-48 lead with less than 14 minutes to play. UCLA took back the lead with a 13-3 run and held its biggest lead of the game at 67-62 with 4:03 to play, but Arizona State's Jahii Carson caught fire late and scored seven points in the final 2:21 of regulation. His driving layup with 39 seconds left tied the score at 70-70 and when David Wear missed a jumper with six seconds to play and Carson missed a desperation heave at the buzzer, the game went to overtime.

Arizona State jumped out to a 23-14 lead with 11:15 to play in the first half, fueled by Jonathan Gilling's three 3-point baskets, and looked as if it were going to run away with the game the same way the Sun Devils did last month in Tempe. The Bruins fought back, however, using hot outside shooting to get back into it.

In the final 10:53 of the first half, Shabazz Muhammad made two 3-pointers, Adams made a 3-pointer and converted three free throws after getting fouled on another attempt and Kyle Anderson made a 3-pointer that gave the Bruins a 39-37 lead with 1:19 left in the half. Carson made two late baskets for the Sun Devils, however, and Arizona state took a 41-39 halftime lead.

Player of the game: Adams had a game-high 22 points, including the four clutch points in overtime and a 3-pointer with 1:23 left in regulation. Kyle Anderson had a career-high 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Stat of the game: The Bruins held Arizona State to 40.3 percent shooting, barely missing out on keeping a third consecutive opponent under 40 percent. Pretty impressive considering the Sun Devils shot 53.3 percent in the first half. They were 13-of-42 (30.9 percent) in the second half and overtime combined, and only 2-of-12 in OT.

What it means: The Bruins are pretty good at extracting revenge wins. This is the second consecutive game in which they have defeated a team they lost to earlier in the season. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they don't get anymore cracks at Oregon or California in the regular season, but maybe a meeting awaits in the Pac-12 tournament. More important, the win keeps UCLA squarely in the middle of the Pac-12 title race and inside the NCAA tournament bubble. The Bruins are tied with Oregon, which plays Oregon State on Thursday night. UCLA and Oregon are a half game ahead of Arizona, which lost at USC on Wednesday night.

What's next: UCLA has a pivotal showdown against No. 11 Arizona on Saturday at 6 p.m. PT at Pauley Pavilion. The game will be televised by ESPN and the "College GameDay" crew will be on hand. Arizona State heads across town to play USC on Saturday at noon at the Galen Center.