Eighteen seconds into tonight’s game between the UCLA Bruins and the Stanford Cardinal, Jaime Jaquez, Jr. hit a layup and added a free throw to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead. Twenty-three seconds later, Stanford’s James Keefe cut UCLA’s lead to 3-2 and that’s as close as the Cardinal would get in this game.
In fact, with each Bruin basket, it seemed like Stanford was not going to get any closer. When David Singleton added a three-pointer to give the Bruins a 4-point 6-2 lead, it would not get any closer than that.
Soon after that, Cody Riley completed a three-point play by driving and making his subsequent free throw just like Jaquez. That gave the Bruins a 7-point lead.
Then, with 13:05 left in the first half, Tyger Campbell hit a jumper to put the Bruins ahead by 11 and the lead would not go back to single digits again.
The reason why the Bruins were able to open up that double-digit lead and, more importantly, why Stanford couldn’t close the gap to less than 10 before halftime was the tenacious Bruin defense, which forced the Cardinal to turn the ball over 22 times in this game.
The Bruins went into the locker room with a 37-18 lead as UCLA held Stanford to just a 20% shooting percentage from the field as well as a 0% percentage from behind the arc on nine attempts.
Things got a little better for the Cardinal in the second half. Their shooting percentage from the field increased to 34.8% and they hit 3 of their 11 attempts from three for a 27.3% three-point percentage, but the damage was done and there was no coming back from it.
The Bruins remained consistent offensively for the most part in the second half. They managed to shoot almost identically in the second half. They were 11 for 30 in the first half and 11 for 29 in the second. They managed to make 75% of their free throws in each half. The only offensive dropoff for the Bruins came from behind the arc where they were 3 for 15 in the first half and just 1 for 14 in the second.
In the second half, UCLA’s defense did allow Stanford to get as close as thirteen points twice but the Cardinal wasn’t capable of making a bigger run down the stretch.
The Bruins managed to stretch their lead to 26 points on a Jake Kyman jumper with 3:01 to go for their biggest lead of the game.
The only real gripe anyone can have with tonight’s win is that the Bruins could have closed it out better. After Kyman’s jumper, they would only score one point in the final three minutes on a Peyton Watson free throw. But the Cardinal only managed to add four points in those final three minutes themselves. So, it’s easy to overlook that.
Jules Bernard led all scorers with 16 points and leading all players with 9 rebounds. Tyger Campbell led the teams with 9 assists. In addition to Bernard, Kyman and Campbell also finished in double figures with 15 points and 10 points, respectively, while no one on Stanford scored more than eight points and the Cardinal starters were all held to seven points or less.
UCLA now heads to Tucson on Thursday where the Arizona Wildcats will hope to avenge the Bruins’ domination from this past Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 5 pm on ESPN.
Go Bruins!!! Beat Zona! Again!