UCLA too much for Arizona State in rematch, wins it 66-52 at home
UCLA made runs to jump out in front of Arizona State early and often Monday night. The Sun Devils did well to fight back each time the Bruins looked to blow things open, but UCLA got big buckets and key plays from guys up and down the rotation to keep the momentum on the side of the hometown team for the entirety of the evening.
The Bruins, looking for a little payback after the Sun Devils upset them in triple-overtime on Feb. 5, never trailed in the game and left Pauley Pavilion with a 66-52 victory to reach the 20-win mark for the second straight season.
Jaylen Clark, starting for a third consecutive game in place of Tyger Campbell, was once again spectacular, providing 16 points and nine boards. Jules Bernard had 16 as well thanks to a perfect 7-for-7 showing from the foul line. Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 13 points and 10 boards, and Johnny Juzang had 10 points to round out a balanced scoring attack.
UCLA jumped out to an early 23-11 lead and took a 34-21 lead into the halftime break. ASU shot just 35% from the field in the first half and missed seven of its eight 3-point attempts.
The Bruins got 11 points off nine first-half ASU turnovers as well, with five different guys creating live-ball turnovers and transition opportunities. Even short-handed, UCLA has been locked in defensively of late and playing stingy defense. Monday marked the fourth straight opponent the Bruins have held under 45% shooting from the floor.
A personal 7-0 run from Arizona State’s DJ Horne in a minute’s time early in the second half got the Sun Devils within six points, and then a 13-3 spurt a few minutes later got the margin all the way down to just one point, 46-45 with 8:02 to play.
From then on it was all UCLA.
David Singleton then pump-faked to get a close-out ASU defender up in the air, stepped to his left, and buried a triple right at the end of the shot clock on the next UCLA possession to stem the tide and put the Bruins back up four.
Arizona State took a really tough mid-range pull-up on its next possession. UCLA said “thanks” and Jaquez got into the lane on the next possession, drew ASU’s Jalen Graham up and off Cody Riley, and then delivered a bullet to the diving Riley for a dunk.
UCLA back up six, Pauley rocking.
The Sun Devils scored just three times the rest of the way as UCLA got to the free throw line and knocked down shots.
The Bruins finished at 40% shooting for the game, same as the Sun Devils, and the perimeter shooting was nearly identical as well (5-of-19 for ASU, 6-of-20 for UCLA). The key distinction was at the foul line. Arizona State only took four free throws.
UCLA made 18 of its 20.
The Bruins had a 15-point edge at the charity stripe and a 14-point lead on the scoreboard. That’ll do it.
Up to No. 12 in the country now as the season winds down, UCLA is working on a three-game winning streak as it heads into a three-game road trip. The Bruins (20-5, 12-4 Pac-12) are back in action Thursday against Oregon at 6:30 p.m. PT.
Arizona State (10-16, 6-10 Pac-12), playing much better basketball of late, saw its own three-game winning streak come to an end with the result. The Sun Devils will be back on the court in Boulder on Thursday against Colorado at 6 p.m. PT.