UCLA men’s basketball notches second consecutive home win in victory over Utah
Redshirt freshman guard Tyger Campbell scored a season-high 22 points for UCLA men’s basketball in its win over Utah on Sunday afternoon. Campbell also led the team with eight assists. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin staff)
Feb. 2, 2020 2:33 p.m.
Tyger Campbell took the court with newfound confidence after UCLA’s upset over No. 20 Colorado on Thursday.
“I could see (Campbell) was extremely confident,” said coach Mick Cronin. “I’m a big, ‘Where’s the mismatch,’ more like the pros, I guess, go to your strength. … I’m just trying to keep his confidence going.”
The redshirt freshman guard snatched the ball off the tip, dribbled into the key and tossed up a lob for redshirt sophomore forward/center Jalen Hill to slam through the hoop. That play was the first of Campbell’s eight assists on the game, in which he would go on to score a career-high 22 points.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I did today without my team finding me, and Hill setting amazing ball screens,” Campbell said. “I might have had 22, but it was the whole team.”
UCLA men’s basketball (12-10, 5-4 Pac-12) defeated Utah (12-9, 3-6) by a score of 73-57 at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday afternoon, extending its winning streak to two games. The Bruins’ 16-point margin of victory was their largest in conference play.
While UCLA found offensive success throughout the game, shooting a season-high 49% from the field, it was aided by Utah’s 8.3% shooting from deep in the opening period and 15 total turnovers.
The Utes’ 21 points in the first half was their second-lowest scoring output of the season, as they went 1-of-12 from distance, and forward Timmy Allen – who had been averaging 18.7 points per game – put up just six in the opening period.
“(I’m) happy with our defensive effort,” Cronin said. “I felt like we needed to pressure (the Utes) and try to speed them up because they shoot it well and they pass it well; it’s a great recipe offensively.”
But just like Thursday’s game against Colorado – when the Bruins were outscored 41-33 in the second half – UCLA was forced to fend off a second-half surge from its opponent Sunday.
Utah wasn’t held off from 3-point range for much longer, coming out of the locker room after the half and hitting three 3-pointers in the opening five minutes of the second period to shrink its deficit from 11 to six points.
“During the beginning of the games, usually at the start, we get really good jumps, and we’re ahead a lot of the time,” said freshman guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. “In the second half of the game, usually we tend to fall apart, so that was the emphasis in the last couple practices and games; … finish out games.”
The Utes brought the score as close as 50-46 with 9 minutes, 12 seconds remaining but were never able to complete the comeback nor outscore the Bruins in the second half, as UCLA’s offensive effort notched 23 points in those final nine minutes.
Campbell and Jaquez Jr. – who led the Bruins with 34 and 35 minutes played, respectively – combined for 28 points in the second half after each scored just six in the opening frame. Jaquez Jr. finished the game with 18 points, tied for a career-high, after going 8-of-8 from the charity stripe and 2-of-2 from distance.
UCLA will ride its two-game winning streak into next weekend’s road trip, when it will take on Arizona and Arizona State.
“When you win a game, you go into practice, and you can really focus on the things you didn’t do well and the things that you need to improve on,” Hill said. “It makes the next game easy.”