Too many times, Sean Miller had seen his Arizona Wildcats fire up jump shots against a zone defense too quickly.
But the ones he watched Thursday drew no complaint, especially the shots from Kyle Fogg.
Fogg hit a career-high seven three-pointers, on 10 attempts, while UA took 22 three-pointers en route to a 78-73 win over UCLA at McKale Center. Miller said 17 or 18 of the long-range shots were good looks, too.
What's more, the Wildcats managed to penetrate the zone to get to the free-throw line 33 times and, on the other side of the court, repaired a porous early defense that led them to a 10-point halftime deficit and 14-point deficit early in the second half.
"I thought this was our best win of the season because of the way" it played out, Miller said. "It was very gratifying in the locker room to have the wherewithal and fight to do that."
The win bumped Arizona back up over .500 at 15-14 overall and 9-8 in the Pac-10, leaving them with a hope for a No. 3 Pac-10 tournament seed and (if they care) better chance at making the 32-team NIT field. The Wildcats will host USC on Saturday in their regular-season finale.
UCLA dropped to 13-16 and 8-9.
While Fogg finished with a career-high 26 points, MoMo Jones tied his career high, set just last Saturday at Stanford, with 16 points.
Michael Roll, a menace inside and out, had 21 points to lead UCLA.
Jones gave UA its first tie of the game, at 58 with 7:54 left on a pair of free throws. But Roll kept UCLA ahead through the next two minutes, with two inside baskets and a free throw.
Fogg then hit his seventh three-pointer with 5:06 left to tie the game again, at 63, then put the Wildcats up for good with two free throws at the 3:19 mark.
Fogg's previous career high came when he scored 25 points at UCLA on Jan. 2 - but did it then by mostly driving inside and hitting just one three-pointer.
"When you look at some of our best moments, Kyle's at the peak of that," Miller said.
In typically soft-spoken style, Fogg said he merely had some good looks at the basket because teammates such as Jones and Nic Wise, who scored all 12 of his points in the second half, penetrated to draw UCLA defenders inside.
"I had no idea" about hitting seven, Fogg said. "Then I did that post-game (interview) and they told me I was 7 for 10. Wow, I didn't feel like that at all."
After Fogg gave UA a 65-64 lead, Wise hit a three-pointer from the corner with three minutes left to make it 68-64 and the Wildcats hung on from there.
Arizona survived despite a poor offensive and defensive effort in the first half, as well as injury and foul concerns with center Derrick Williams.
They gave up 60 percent field goal shooting to UCLA in the first half, after which they trailed 39-29, but held the Bruins to just 33 percent in the second half.
Jones said it was a matter of will.
"We just knew we didn't want to go out with a loss," Jones said. "We weren't playing like ourselves in the first half of the game. We were lackadaisical. But we came back in the second half and did what we did.
"We just played defense how we play."
Williams bruised his left quad while taking a charge from Brendan Lane with 11:35 left. Williams then received a balm from trainer Justin Kokoskie and a band under his knee, returning to play with 8:15 left.
Williams earlier picked up his fourth foul with 16:17 left.
Early in the second half, UCLA built leads of up to 14 points but the Wildcats' offense began heating up.
UA was 4 for 5 from three-point range in the second half through the 9:52 mark, cutting UCLA's lead to 57-52 on Fogg's sixth three-pointer.
Fogg's threes were easily a career high. His previous high was four against Lipscomb.
In the first half, the Bruins got the ball inside and were coming freely off screens. They hit only 2 of 7 three-pointers, but both of those were wide-open looks given to Roll and Nikola Dragovic.
The Wildcats, meanwhile, managed to shoot just 39.1 percent themselves and made only 3 of 12 three-pointers. Arizona also hit only 8 of 15 free throws.
Roll and Malcolm Lee led UCLA in scoring with 11 points each in the first half, while Williams had eight to lead Arizona.
Miller started Brendon Lavender for the first time since Dec. 6, in place of Jamelle Horne, who has been in a three-game slump.
Horne and Jones entered after two minutes, however, and Horne hit a three-pointer from the corner with 17:09 left.
UCLA took an early 14-7 lead while easily coping with the UA defense, hitting 6 of 9 field goals through the first six minutes.
The Wildcats returned to nearly tie it up with 10:22 left when Solomon Hill stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast for a layup. But after he was fouled for a potential three-point play, he missed the free throw to leave the game at 14-13.
Overall, Arizona missed four of its first six free throws, including both taken by Williams with 9:38 left.
The Bruins took a 28-20 lead on a wide-open three-pointer by Roll and were up 29-20 after Tyler Honeycutt made the first of two free throws with 4:08 left.
• What: USC at Arizona
• When: 11:30 a.m., Saturday
• TV: Ch 58, FSAZ
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)
FOGG and MOMO SHOW
Kyle Fogg and MoMo Jones put on a show against UCLA:
7 of 10
Fogg's effort from three-point range
Jones' point total, matching his high from last Saturday's game against Stanford