Jaime Jaquez 30-piece helps lead No. 17 UCLA to 77-66 win over Washington
UCLA had 25 points at halftime on the road against Washington Monday night. It tied a season-low for points scored in an opening half. The other game? Against Gonzaga on Nov. 23. The Zags, as you know, are the No. 1 team in America.
Washington is… uh… not quite close to that. So with the Bruins walking into the locker room down four after a miserable start from the field, that Gonzaga game flashed to mind; it ended in a 20-point defeat for the Bruins. Surely this wasn’t headed for the same kind of result. How would the Bruins look in the final 20 minutes?
As it turned out, this night would also end in blowout fashion. Led by a career night from forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. and a blistering second-half shooting performance, the Bruins sprinted away from the Huskies to win, 77-66. The score makes things look a little closer than they were; UCLA was up 22 points with under four minutes to play. UW got a pair of uncontested triples in the final minute with reserves out on the floor.
UCLA opened the second half on a 16-2 run and never looked back. The Huskies got their second bucket of the half with 12:54 to play, bringing the margin to eight, but UCLA immediately responded and the margin just kept climbing higher and higher from there.
From the 7:12 mark to the 3:37 mark, UCLA used a 13-2 run to push the lead to 22 points, enough to force the white flag from the Huskies. Terrell Brown Jr. got 20 points for Washington, but he did so on 20 shot attempts. And after UW shot 48% from the field in the first half, it missed 20 of its next 27 shots.
Simply put: UCLA woke up and exerted control over a lesser opponent.
The Bruins opened the game with just three makes on their first 16 shot attempts. For the entire first half, they averaged a paltry 0.862 points per possession. That number soared to an absurd 1.529 over the final 20 minutes, as UCLA got 14 of its 27 looks at the rim.
They forced 10 Washington turnovers in the second half, turned seven offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points, got eight points off the break, and shot 59% overall from the floor.
The energy was markedly better. Jaquez was the instigator.
UCLA’s versatile forward put up a career-high 30 points on 11-for-17 shooting, adding nine boards and a steal. Jaquez had 17 in the second half; UCLA outscored the Huskies by 18 in his 36 total minutes. Johnny Juzang was sidelined once again with an injury while the backcourt of Tyger Campbell and Jules Bernard shot a combined 4-of-17 from the field and it didn’t matter one bit.
Now, UCLA (22-6, 14-5 Pac-12) can take a bit of a breather after grinding through six games in 12 days. Attention will turn to Saturday and a Senior Day showdown with No. 16 USC. The Trojans took the first meeting in the crosstown rivalry 67-64 on Feb. 12. UCLA will want to avenge that loss at home in the final regular-season game before the Pac-12 tournament starts. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. PT on ESPN.
Washington (14-14, 9-9 Pac-12) will host Oregon on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Network.