Jaquez Leads UCLA Past Arizona State, 79-61
The Bruins overcame a slow start and got better as the game progressed.
Except for the first four minutes and thirty-nine seconds, the UCLA Bruins almost played a complete game tonight against Arizona State.
After the Bruins scored the first bucket of the game, the Sun Devils scored the next 12 points. That was enough to get Mick Cronin to call a timeout with 15:21 left in the half.
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For the remainder of the game, UCLA outscored ASU by nearly 30 points, 77-49.
After that timeout, the Bruins scored six consecutive points to cut ASU’s lead to just four points, 12-8.
With 9:02 left in the half, Jaime Jaquez, Jr. hit a three-pointer to cut the Sun Devil lead to just three points, 18-15, but ASU’s Jamiya Neal responded with a trey of his own.
Meanwhile, Jaquez continued to carry UCLA on his back. He added a pair of baskets including a dunk to pull the Bruins within two points, 21-19.
Finally, with 5:45 left, another basket by Jaquez tied the game, 23-23. Despite the best efforts of Jaquez and Company, ASU retook the lead and soon had a 28-25 edge.
UCLA found themselves on the line shooting four free throws with 2:25 left in the half due to a shooting foul on Frankie Collins and an administrative technical foul against Bobby Hurley, sending Tyger Campbell and Jaquez to the line. The pair hit all four free throws and the Bruins took the lead for good.
UCLA led by just a point with time winding down in the half when Campbell hit a three-point buzzer beater to give the Bruins a 36-32 lead as the teams headed into the locker room for the break.
In the second half, the only thing UCLA did was increase their margin of victory. After ASU beat the Wildcats last weekend on a buzzer-beater, there would be no such finish today as the Bruins continuously increased their lead to as many as 20 points.
In the end, the Sun Devils were unable to close the gap as UCLA went on to win their 24th consecutive home game.
Jaime Jaquez, Jr. led all scorers with 26 points while Tyger Campbell added 18 more. Jaylen Clark managed to put up a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
UCLA will wrap up the regular season on Saturday when the Bruins host the Arizona Wildcats at 7 pm PT.