LOS ANGELES (AP)There’s no easing in at UCLA for Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. The Bruins need the freshmen now.
Campbell scored a career-high 22 points with eight assists – one off his career best – and Jaquez Jr. tied his career high with 18 points in a 73-57 victory over Utah on Sunday that gave the Bruins a Pac-12 weekend sweep.
”I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did without my team finding me,” Campbell said. ”I might have had 22, but it was the team that mattered.”
Despite the noon start, the Bruins (12-10, 5-4 Pac-12) brought energy from the opening tip and maintained it defensively while beating the Utes for the first time in two years. Campbell played 34 minutes and Jaquez Jr. clocked 35.
”I just wanted to win. That’s all I care about,” Campbell said. ”We’re trying to go on a run in this Pac-12 right now.”
UCLA shot 49% from the floor, owned a 34-26 edge in the paint and 15-7 in fast-break points. The Utes were held to 39% shooting and committed 15 turnovers. They were 4 of 5 from the free throw line; the Bruins hit 17 of 22.
”We had a stretch where we had seven turnovers in our first 13 possessions,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. ”The margin for error is just too slim against a team like this.”
Riley Battin scored 14 points and Timmy Allen added 13 points – under his 18.7 average – seven rebounds and eight assists for the Utes (12-9, 3-6). They are 0-5 on the road in league play.
”It’s very frustrating. We had an opportunity to win in both (losses),” Allen said. ”The details, the small things, we just have to pay attention to those.”
Utah never led and trailed by 11 early in the second half. The Utes closed within four on a 3-pointer by Alfonso Plummer. But they unraveled with a flagrant-1 foul on Allen and a shot-clock violation.
”I feel like this is the grind-it-out part of the season,” Allen said. ”We have to decide where we are at. It’s a long season.”
The Bruins engineered an 18-2 run that stretched their lead to 68-48. Campbell had six points and Jaquez Jr. four in the spurt.
”We thought Tyger had the advantage in the pick-and-roll,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. ”I could see he was extremely confident and we rode that in the second half.”
Leading by three, the Bruins scored 10 straight points during a 16-8 run that left them ahead 32-21 at halftime. Five different players scored, including four points each from Jaquez Jr. and Chris Smith.
”Usually we get really good jumps and we’re ahead,” Jaquez Jr. said. ”Usually in the second half we tend to fall apart. That was a big emphasis in the last couple of games.”
UCLA improved to 11-10 in the all-time series, snapping the Utes’ three-game winning streak against them.
Utah: The Utes got swept in Los Angeles, having lost at USC 56-52 on Thursday.
UCLA: The Bruins won back-to-back Pac-12 games for just the second time this season, having beaten No. 20 Colorado 72-68 on Thursday. They face a pivotal trip to the Arizona schools next weekend, with Arizona just ahead of them and Arizona State just behind them in the standings.
The Bruins marked the 50th anniversary of the 1969-70 national championship team at halftime. It was their sixth NCAA title in seven seasons under coach John Wooden despite the departure of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the NBA. Some of the team’s biggest names – Henry Bibby, Final Four MOP Sidney Wicks, and assistants Denny Crum and Gary Cunningham – weren’t on hand. Among the players who attended were captain John Vallely, Jon Chapman and Bill Seibert. Jamaal Wilkes, who won NCAA titles in 1972 and ’73, was in the stands.
Utah: Hosts Stanford on Thursday. The Utes are 8-1 at home.
UCLA: Visits Arizona State on Thursday.
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