UCLA found itself in an early 10-point hole Thursday night against a hungry Arizona State team, but in what is likely to be his penultimate game at Pauley Pavillion, forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. made sure the Bruins’ night ended with a win.

The star forward scored 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Bruins pulled past Arizona State and ran away in the second half for a 79-61 win. The victory was UCLA’s ninth straight, and its 24th consecutive win at home.

It was a statement game for Jaquez, a candidate for Pac-12 and National Player of the Year awards. Both halves featured emphatic flushes for a man who seems to be reaching the height of his powers as the season reaches its most crucial juncture.

Heading into the matchup, coach Mick Cronin said he was paranoid about his team’s emotional gas tank. With the Pac-12 title wrapped up and the visiting Sun Devils in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid, Cronin was anxious to see where his squad’s head would be come tip-off.

A 12-2 open for the Sun Devils had Cronin’s paranoia looking justified.

And then UCLA woke up. And then Jaquez exploded.

From the 12:59 mark in the first half through the 7:51 mark, Jaquez scored 13 straight points for UCLA. He had a pair of dunks, a couple of free throws, a couple of jumpers, and a triple off the break. Another dunk with 5:42 to play in the opening frame tied things at 23-all.

An 8-0 run from the Bruins a few minutes later ensured UCLA took a lead into the halftime break.

On the other side, It was Tyger Campbell firing UCLA out in front.

Campbell scored seven points in the first four minutes of the second half to help push UCLA out to a 13-point lead. ASU was able to get it back to nine with 15 to play, but the Bruins immediately pushed the margin back to double-digits and that was that.

Campbell finished with 18 points and four assists. Jaylen Clark added 15 points and 11 boards.

The Bruins held ASU to 42% shooting and completely dominated the glass (47-23).

For Arizona State (20-10, 11-8 Pac-12), a trip to the Galen Center to battle USC on Saturday becomes all the more important. Entering the week, a split was viewed as a major step toward a potential tournament bid. That’s still on the table. Tip-off against USC is set for 8 p.m. PT on FS1.

The fourth-ranked Bruins (26-4, 17-2 Pac-12) close out the regular season at home against Arizona on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN.