UCLA men’s basketball comes up empty in Vegas following loss to No. 5 Baylor
Junior guard Jaylen Clark prepares to pass the ball. Clark scored 17 first-half points Sunday, but No. 8 UCLA men’s basketball fell to No. 5 Baylor in Las Vegas. (Joseph Jimenez/Assistant Photo editor)
|No. 8 UCLA||75|
|No. 5 Baylor||80|
By Jon Christon
Nov. 20, 2022 5:11 p.m.
This post was updated Nov. 21 at 12:28 a.m.
Despite the best efforts of Jaylen Clark and Jaime Jaquez Jr., the Bruins are leaving the gambling capital of the world empty-handed.
No. 8 UCLA men’s basketball (3-2) fell to No. 5 Baylor (4-1) by a score of 80-75 on Sunday afternoon in the consolation game of the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas. It marked the second loss of the weekend for the blue and gold after it lost to No. 19 Illinois on Friday evening in the first round of the tournament.
Junior guard Clark and senior guard/forward Jaquez led the way for UCLA with 23 and 15 points, respectively. In a game of your turn, my turn, it was Clark’s show in the first half and Jaquez’s in the second.
Clark scored 17 points in the opening frame, 12 of which came in the 14 minutes Jaquez spent on the bench with foul trouble. All but a free throw of Clark’s first-half points came from the painted area.
But once Jaquez returned to the floor again to start the second half, it was his turn to attack the rim. He scored 11 points in the half’s first 12 minutes, getting into the lane and either finishing through contact or fading away from his defender for a jumper.
However, Jaquez’s standout second half ended with a whimper. He was held off the scoreboard for the game’s final eight minutes, missing all three of his field goal attempts over that span.
Without Jaquez in the scoring column, Baylor pulled away. A pair of Clark free throws made it a one-point game coming out of the final media timeout, but that was as close as the Bruins would get the rest of the contest. A 3-pointer from Baylor guard LJ Cryer made the deficit four, and a pair of jumpers from guard Adam Flagler in the final minute proved to be the final nails in the coffin.
Cryer and Flagler went toe-to-toe with UCLA’s duo of Clark and Jaquez all game, combining for 50 of Baylor’s 80 points while making eight combined 3-pointers – double what UCLA made as a team.
Outside of Clark and Jaquez, the Bruins shot just 38.9% from the field – just above what the entire team shot against the Fighting Illini in the loss Friday.
UCLA will return home to battle Pepperdine on Wednesday night.