Men’s basketball beats Pepperdine in triple overtime to secure 1st win of season
Sophomore guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. played all 55 minutes and recorded a double-double as UCLA men’s basketball pulled out a triple-overtime victory over Pepperdine. (Daanish Bhatti/Assistant Photo editor)
|No. 22 UCLA||107|
By Sam Connon
Nov. 27, 2020 3:29 p.m.
This post was updated Nov. 27 at 4:30 p.m.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. went to the line with his team down one and eight seconds left in the second overtime.
The sophomore guard/forward missed both, but got his own rebound and went to the line for two more. This time, Jaquez hit the first to tie the game at 89, but missed the second and it went to triple overtime.
“The good thing is I got it back and gave us a chance to win that game,” Jaquez said. “Obviously, I would have loved to hit both those free throws, but it just didn’t happen the way I wanted it to.”
Jaquez played all 55 minutes of No. 22 UCLA men’s basketball’s (1-1) victory over Pepperdine (1-1), finishing 5-of-11 from the charity stripe. His missed free throws nearly cost the Bruins the win on several occasions, but his 16 points and 11 rebounds helped them avoid the upset Friday afternoon.
“I’m kind of still running on adrenaline right now,” Jaquez said. “When I go back (to the hotel), I’m probably going to take a nap.”
UCLA trailed by as many as nine points in the first half, but it stormed back to hold a six-point lead with 3:23 left in regulation. The Bruins didn’t hit another field goal for the rest of the period, however, and Pepperdine forced overtime with a 3-pointer by guard Jade’ Smith.
It was Pepperdine guard Colbey Ross who forced the second overtime by sinking a runner with just seconds left on the clock. Jaquez’s fiasco at the free-throw line led to the third overtime, in which the Bruins outscored the Waves 18-9 to seal the victory.
Overall, there were 19 ties and 13 lead changes in the 55-minute marathon.
Jaquez and company played more basketball in one afternoon than any Bruin in the past few decades, considering the last time UCLA went to triple overtime was back in 1985. Redshirt sophomore guard Tyger Campbell logged 52 minutes, senior guard Chris Smith logged 51 and three others played more than 28.
“(Jaquez), (Smith) and (Campbell) are headed for the cold tub, I’m going to join them and put my head in after dealing with that,” coach Mick Cronin said.
Campbell ended the day with 22 points and seven assists, while Smith led UCLA with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Both were good for second-most in his career, and the 51 minutes were his most by a healthy margin.
“50 minutes was what it took tonight to get the win,” Smith said. “If I’ve got to play 50 minutes every night, I’ll do it. As long as we win, I’m chilling.”
Redshirt junior forward Cody Riley had the fewest minutes and rebounds of any Bruin starter with 29 and three, respectively, but he was hamstrung by foul trouble in the first half.
Riley played eight minutes in the opening half, and the Bruins were unable to record a single block or steal in the frame without his presence in the middle. As a result, Cronin went with a small lineup – one he would have to return to when Riley fouled out in overtime.
“We don’t practice a lineup with (Jaquez) at the five or (junior guard Jules Bernard) at the five, but we had to play it a lot this week,” Cronin said. “We got more comfortable playing with no center and really five guards the more game went on.”
Jaquez and Bernard are both 6-foot-6 and are listed as guards, but Bernard said he was prepared to make the unexpected shift against a Pepperdine team that started two 6-foot-9 bigs.
“In high school, I was the biggest player on my team, so I kind of got a little taste of it, but not really in college,” Bernard said. “I know I have a strong body so I just have to use that to my advantage and get a lower center of gravity for the taller guys.”
So with unorthodox lineups, career nights and 15 extra minutes tacked onto the end, UCLA avoided starting 0-2 for the first time since the 2011-2012 season.