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UCLA men’s basketball claws out close win over Washington State Cougars

Redshirt senior guard Tyger Campbell dribbles the ball up the floor. Campbell tallied 16 points as No. 11 UCLA men’s basketball fought its way to a win over Washington State on the road Friday. (Jack Stenzel/Daily Bruin staff)

Men’s basketball


No. 11 UCLA67
Washington State66

By Grace Whitaker

Dec. 30, 2022 10:26 p.m.

The Bruins hadn’t led since early in the first half. 

However, with just 20 seconds to play, a layup from a freshman made the difference.

Off a bucket from freshman forward Adem Bona with 19 seconds to go, No. 11 UCLA men’s basketball (12-2, 3-0 Pac-12) defeated Washington State (5-9, 0-3) by a score of 67-66 on Friday, tallying its first win in Pullman since 2019. The Bruins collected just five assists on the night – more than 10 short of its per-game average coming into the game – and shot 36.2% from the floor.

After a technical foul was granted to Washington State coach Kyle Smith less than two minutes into the game, redshirt senior guard Tyger Campbell collected the first points of the contest off two made free throws. Bona followed with a dunk 10 seconds later to bring the Bruins a 4-0 lead early in the first half. 

Responding to the blue and gold’s early scoring opportunities, Washington State held its own against UCLA, going on a 7-0 run before collecting back-to-back uninterrupted scoring opportunities to obtain a 12-7 lead six minutes into the first half. 

The Cougars’ dominant performance continued as they accumulated 12 rebounds to the Bruins’ six in addition to outscoring them 21-16 at the midway point of the first half. UCLA was unable to match Washington State’s run as the Cougars continued their scoring drive with a jumper and a made three-pointer to secure a 10-point lead with eight minutes to go in the half. 

The Bruins stopped the bleeding momentarily after a made three-pointer from fifth-year guard David Singleton and a second dunk from Bona to bring the score to 30-23. But that effort was swiftly equalized by a three-pointer and dunk pair from Washington State to bring the score to 35-23. 

After a late 9-2 run from the Bruins capped off by a bucket from beyond the arc courtesy of Campbell with four seconds to go, UCLA trimmed Washington State’s lead to five points going into the halftime locker room. 

The Cougars would not let up on the scoring front despite continuous responses from UCLA, collecting a layup and a three-point shot to widen the lead back to seven points. Campbell and senior guard/forward Jamie Jaquez Jr. each responded with their own back-to-back scoring possessions to combine for an 8-2 Bruin run to bring the score to eventually 56-53 in favor of the Cougars. 

The back-and-forth battle continued as Jaquez embarked on a 6-0 personal run to minimize the Cougars’ lead to three once more with 4:53 to go in the contest. Four minutes later, after baskets from both squads, Jaquez nearly equalized the game while scoring both of his opportunities from the charity stripe to bring the contest to a one-point game within the final minute. 

Within the final thirty seconds, Bona collected the ball near the basket and collected the final points of the game to put his team up one point. The Bruins held off a flurry of attempts from the Cougars on the final possession to hang on for their third conference victory of the season.

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Grace Whitaker | Sports senior staff
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
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