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UCLA men’s basketball defeats Long Beach State as Tyger Campbell reaches milestone

Redshirt senior guard Tyger Campbell dribbles into the lane. Campbell reached 1,000 career points in No. 8 UCLA men’s basketball’s win over Long Beach State on Friday. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)

Men’s basketball


Long Beach State69
No. 8 UCLA93

By Sam Settleman

Nov. 11, 2022 10:43 p.m.

This post was updated Nov. 13 at 11:39 p.m.

A quick hesitation freed up Tyger Campbell for an easy layup.

The next possession, the redshirt senior guard brought the ball up the court once more, passing it off to junior guard Jaylen Clark before getting the ball right back on the left wing. With no hesitation this time, Campbell fired away and knocked another one down.

The five quick points put Campbell in rarified air – one of 60 Bruins to eclipse 1,000 career points.

It wasn’t until he looked up at the jumbotron at the next timeout that Campbell found out he had joined the 1,000-point club.

“I didn’t know. No one told me,” Campbell said. “I don’t play for those things, to get 1,000 points, but obviously it’s a cool accolade to have.”

Campbell’s milestone night highlighted No. 8 UCLA men’s basketball’s (2-0) 93-69 victory over Long Beach State (1-1) in Pauley Pavilion on Friday.

While Campbell picked up his 1,000th point in the first half, it was his backcourt partner who paced the Bruins through 20 minutes. Fresh off a 10-point performance in his UCLA debut Monday, freshman guard Amari Bailey surpassed that total with 12 points in the first half Friday.

Freshman guard Amari Bailey drives past a defender. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)

Fellow freshman Adem Bona, on the other hand, failed to find his stride in the first half. The forward started down low in his UCLA debut but played only seven minutes and didn’t get on the scoreboard in the opening half after picking up two early fouls.

Clark said early-season games give the freshmen chances to get acclimated when the stakes are lower.

“We need them to produce and be ready right now,” Clark said. “Coach knows they’re going to make mistakes. It’s their second game.”

Bona’s second foul prompted coach Mick Cronin to pull the freshman in favor of redshirt senior forward/center Kenneth Nwuba, who picked up a quick foul of his own before making his way back to the bench. Redshirt freshman forward Mac Etienne fared no better, as he fell victim to the whistle just 12 seconds later and got pulled.

Despite the three-man rotation at the five in the early stages, UCLA held Long Beach State to 29% shooting in the first frame, including a stretch of 11 straight missed field goals for the Beach, as the Bruins led by as much as 20.

After a seven-steal effort in game one, Clark notched two more steals early in the contest before adding another pair to cap off the night. The junior guard said he’s already eyeing UCLA history two games into the season.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll get the single-season steals record. I already did the math,” Clark said. “I gave myself a good head start.”

The first-half woes didn’t carry over to the second half for Bona, who notched the first points of his UCLA career two minutes into the second frame. Bona tallied a couple more bunnies down low – ultimately finishing with eight points on the night – but it was a pair of veterans who sparked a second-half run to open up a 29-point lead.

Fifth-year guard David Singleton cashed in on a pair of 3-pointers early in the half before Campbell scored six straight of his own to widen the gap between the Bruins and the Beach.

Cronin praised Singleton’s efforts not only as a shooter but also on the glass, where the guard led all Bruins with nine boards.

“To me, the star of the game was Dave (Singleton) – no turnovers, led us in rebounding, and he led us in no bad shots,” Cronin said. “When you have a veteran player like Dave, it’s huge.”

The shots stopped falling for UCLA late in the second half as a nearly three-minute field goal drought cut into the Bruins’ lead, but it didn’t stop the blue and gold from picking up its second straight 20-plus-point win.

On the night he reached 1,000 career points, Campbell led all scorers with 18 points.

“I just try to go out every game and try to win my matchup,” Campbell said. “It’s a cool accolade. I’m not taking anything from it, … but we got a lot to do this season.”

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Sam Settleman | Sports editor
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
Settleman is currently the Sports editor on the football, men's basketball and gymnastics beats. He was previously an assistant editor on the gymnastics, women's soccer, women's golf, men's water polo and women's water polo beats and a contributor on the gymnastics and women's water polo beats.
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