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Bruins Win Triple OT Marathon Against Pepperdine, 107-98

Nov 27, 2020
UCLA defeated Pepperdine, 107-98 (photo by Derrick Tuskan/SDSU)

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The No. 22 UCLA men's basketball team outlasted Pepperdine on Friday afternoon in a triple overtime marathon, downing the Waves 107-98 in a neutral site contest at San Diego State's Viejas Arena.
 
It was the Bruins' (1-1) first triple overtime game in over 35 years, with the last occurrence coming against crosstown rival USC on Feb. 28, 1985 at Pauley Pavilion. That game in 1985 went through four overtime sessions.
 
All five UCLA starters reached double-digit scoring in Friday's win, with three reaching the 20-point plateau. Senior guard Chris Smith led the Bruins with 26 points, followed by redshirt sophomore guard Tyger Campbell's 22 points and junior guard Jules Bernard's career-high 21. Smith notched a team-high 12 rebounds to record his first double-double of the year.
 
"They're hard to defend, but our first three halves of basketball this year, our defense wasn't up to par and that's on me," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "But we did what we had to do adjustment-wise at halftime – and the guys stepped up their effort and energy and our second-half defense – we held them to 30 percent, 20 percent from three. That's why we were up 70-64. We just didn't finish the game. We're playing small, we couldn't get a rebound, they hit two threes off second shots."
 
Sophomore Jaime Jaquez Jr. played all 55 minutes of Friday's contest, registering a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double. He became the first Bruin to play at least 45 minutes in a game since Aaron Holiday did so against Stanford on March 9, 2018.
 
In fact, Jaquez Jr. became UCLA's first player to log at least 55 minutes in a game since the Bruins' four-overtime loss to USC back in February of 1985. In that contest, Miller and Niguel Miguel each played 59 minutes.
 
Campbell was the star on Friday afternoon in the decisive third overtime period. He scored a team-high 10 points in the final overtime session. Campbell opened up the frame by knocking down a 3-point jumper at the 4:47 mark, putting UCLA ahead 92-89. From that point, the Bruins led the rest of the way.
 
On the Bruins' possession after Campbell's basket, Bernard hit a 3-pointer of his own to make it a four-point game. Smith was fouled at the 3:15 mark while scoring on a putback and converted the free throw on the old-fashioned 3-point play to push UCLA's margin to five points.
 
With just over two minutes remaining, Jaquez. Jr. converted on a pair of free throw attempts to get UCLA to the century mark and push the advantage to seven points, the largest for UCLA to that point of the game. Campbell poured in five more points over the closing minutes of the game to provide the contest's final score line.
 
Pepperdine (1-1) was paced by senior guard Colbey Ross, who notched a game-high 33 points while matching Jaquez Jr. with 55 minutes on the floor. Ross kept his team alive in the first overtime period, hitting a layup with six seconds remaining, tying the game at 81-81.
 
The Waves' Jan Ziden – son of former UCLA center George Zidek – hit his team's biggest shot of the second overtime session, converting on a hook from inside the paint with 1:07 remaining. Zidek's shot made the score 89-88 in the Waves' favor, their final lead of extra time. After a defensive stop by both teams, Jaquez. Jr. hit a free throw with just seven seconds left, sending the contest to a third overtime period.
 
UCLA trailed 39-32 at halftime, but turned it around with a strong second half performance. The key stretch came midway through the second stanza, as the Bruins turned an eight-point deficit into a three-point lead with a dominant 13-2 run capped by a Cody Riley basket. Riley, who had a double-double on Wednesday, finished with 13 points and five rebounds against Pepperdine.
 
Though the Bruins led by six with under four minutes remaining in regulation, Pepperdine closed the half on an 8-2 run, tying the game on Jade Smith's 3-pointer from the left wing with 59 seconds left.
 
Junior guard David Singleton was the Bruins' most effective contributor off the bench, notching nine points and seven rebounds in 42 minutes of action. Singleton's nine points came from a trio of 3-pointers.
 
UCLA outshot the Waves for the game, 43.9% to 40.0%, and also won the rebound battle by a 54-43 margin. The Bruins committed just 12 turnovers in 55 minutes, including only one during overtime.
 
The Bruins will host Long Beach State on Monday night (6:30 p.m.) in the 2020-21 home opener at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks and can be heard on the radio on AM 570.