UCLA Posts Wire-to-Wire Win to Reach NCAA Second Round
INDIANAPOLIS – Behind a game-high 27 points from Johnny Juzang, the No. 11-seeded UCLA men's basketball team defeated No. 6-seeded BYU, 73-62, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Juzang, who scored 23 points in Thursday's "First Four" contest, made 10 of 16 shots from the field. He poured in 19 points in the first half.
UCLA (19-9) never trailed against BYU (20-7) on Saturday evening. The Bruins jumped out to a 13-point lead in the first half and entered the locker room at halftime with a 38-27 cushion.
Juzang was one of three UCLA players to score in double figures. Jules Bernard finished with 16 points and five rebounds, while Jaime Jaquez Jr. registered 13 points and eight rebounds.
Coach Cronin Postgame | J. Juzang Postgame
"It took everything our guys had on the defensive end tonight," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "That's where our focus was. We were able to take them off the 3-point line. It wasn't easy. I can't tell you how hard that was for our guys and how proud I am of how hard they played. Played with a lot of pride. I try to remind them here who they play for to get their confidence back. They practice in a gym with 11 banners hanging. So, it was a big win."
The Bruins secured a spot in the second round of the tournament against No. 14-seed Abilene Christian (24-4). The Wildcats knocked off No. 3-seed Texas on Saturday night, 53-52.
In the win over BYU, UCLA's lead never fell to any fewer than seven points in the final 12 minutes. BYU reduced the Bruins' margin to four points early in the second half (43-39, at the 14:21 mark) before UCLA scored back-to-back baskets to secure an eight-point advantage. An 11-4 scoring run by UCLA helped the Bruins to build their lead to 54-43 with under 10:45 to play.
Alex Barcello scored 20 points to lead the Cougars (20-7). Brandon Averette tallied 15 points and Matt Haarms registered a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
UCLA made 28 of 58 shot attempts (48.3 percent) and knocked down 8 of 19 attempts from 3-point range (42.1 percent).
Juzang became the third UCLA player to have scored at least 20 points in each of his first two NCAA Tournament contests, joining Lew Alcindor and Reggie Miller.
The Bruins have secured their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament's second round since March of 2017 (after having defeated Kent State, 97-80, in Sacramento in that season's tournament).
UCLA's matchup on Monday against Abilene Christian will take place at 2:15 p.m. PT (5:15 p.m. ET). The game will be televised on TBS. The radio broadcast will be available in the Los Angeles area on AM 570.