No. 5 UCLA Defeats Long Beach State, 96-78
LOS ANGELES – Jules Bernard scored a season-high-tying 22 points and Johnny Juzang registered 18 points as No. 5-ranked UCLA defeated Long Beach State, 96-78, in a non-conference game in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom on Thursday.
Playing their first game in over three weeks due to COVID-19 related issues, the Bruins (9-1) opened a seven-point lead midway through the first half and extended their margin to 15 points – at 35-20 – with four minutes to play before halftime.
UCLA led Long Beach State (4-8) by double figures throughout the second half.
Thursday's game was added to the schedule on Tuesday after UCLA and Long Beach State's upcoming opponents were unable to play previously-scheduled matchups.
"We were desperate to get out on the court, mentally and physically," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "You've got to start playing games to find a rhythm, especially Cody Riley, his first game of the year. You can only simulate so much in practice."
Long Beach State's Jadon Jones scored 27 points, connecting on 7 of 13 shots and 10 of 11 free throws. Jones finished the game as the Beach's only player to score at least 10 points.
UCLA's Tyger Campbell finished with 11 points and a season-high 10 assists, notching his fourth career double-double (all of the point-assist variety).
Riley returned to the court after having sustained a knee injury in the Bruins' season opener (on Tuesday, Nov. 9). The Bruins' fifth-year senior finished with eight points and two rebounds in just over 20 minutes.
UCLA's most sizeable scoring run of the contest took place midway through the first half, after the Bruins had been trailing 15-11 at the 11:30 mark. From that point, the Bruins outscored Long Beach State by a 16-2 margin over the next five minutes.
UCLA increased its advantage to as many as 23 points with under 13 minutes to play in the second half.
Six players connected from beyond the 3-point arc on Thursday, with Jules Bernard going 4-for-7 from long range. Johnny Juzang (3-for-8) and Tyger Campbell (3-for-5) each knocked down a trio of 3-point baskets, and Jaylen Clark was 2-for-3 from 3-point range.
In all, the Bruins made a season-high 14 shots from 3-point distance (and had a season-high 34 attempts from long range).
UCLA won the rebounding battle by a 40-35 margin. The Bruins have out-rebounded their opponent in eight of 10 games during the 2021-22 season.
UCLA will travel on Friday for a Pac-12 contest at California this Saturday evening. Game time in Berkeley, Calif., at Haas Pavilion is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PT). UCLA's game at California will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.