Men’s basketball steamrolls Utah for second time this season
Sophomore guard Jules Bernard led UCLA men’s basketball with 16 points Thursday night against Utah, with 14 of those points coming in the opening half. (Daanish Bhatti/Daily Bruin)
By Ryan Smith
Feb. 20, 2020 10:40 p.m.
The Bruins continue to win on the back of their defense.
UCLA men‘s basketball (16-11, 9-5 Pac-12) never trailed in a 69-58 victory over Utah (14-12, 5-9) on Thursday night as the Bruins secured their fourth consecutive win and eighth in their last 10 games. It marked UCLA’s second victory over Utah this season, with the Utes failing to break the 60-point mark in both contests.
UCLA held Utah to 38.9% shooting from the floor in the first half and kept the Utes from registering a 3-point field goal until the 10:19 mark of the second. The Bruins also converted 16 Utes turnovers into 17 points on the other end.
After taking a 33-21 lead into the break, UCLA opened the second half with a 12-5 run to extend their lead to 20 points. Despite Utah using a 15-5 run to cut the deficit to seven points with just under two minutes to go in the contest, it was unable to get any closer.
Sophomore guard Jules Bernard led the Bruins in scoring Thursday night, pouring in a team-high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Bernard’s previous high in Pac-12 play this season was 11 points, but he surpassed that mark with 14 in the first half alone.
Redshirt freshman guard Tyger Campbell finished as the only other UCLA player in double-figures with 13 points. However, freshman forward/guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. and junior guard Chris Smith each added nine points of their own.
Thursday’s victory was also UCLA’s first at Utah in over three years, and it helped it remain just one game back of No. 18 Colorado in the Pac-12 standings with four games left to play in the regular season.
The Bruins will have a chance to upset the Buffaloes for the second time this season Saturday afternoon. A UCLA win would give it the head-to-head tiebreaker in the event the two teams finish with identical conference records.