Jaquez Jr., Bernard Power UCLA Past Washington State
LAS VEGAS – Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Jules Bernard combined for 42 points as the No. 2-seed UCLA men's basketball team defeated No. 7-seed Washington State, 75-65, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.
Jaquez Jr. notched his third consecutive game with at least 20 points. He finished with his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Bernard finished the game with 19 points, connecting on 7 of 12 shots from the field.
UCLA (24-6) advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament for the first time since 2018. The Bruins will have the opportunity on Friday night to punch their ticket to the championship contest for the first time since winning the Pac-12 Championship in 2014.
"Obviously, these two guys [Jaime and Jules] both got it going," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "We were stuck in the mud a little bit, and Jules made some big shots, got us going. He got our energy level up. We got out in transition. I thought that changed the game."
"We were stuck in the mud a little bit, and Jules made some big shots, got us going, got our energy level up."
Coach Cronin, speaking after UCLA's win on Thursday pic.twitter.com/TMb3wjBdV6
— UCLA Men's Basketball (@UCLAMBB) March 11, 2022
Washington State's Andrej Jakimovski scored a team-high 15 points for the Cougars (19-14). Tyrell Roberts finished with 14 points and TJ Bamba scored 11 points.
The Bruins dominated on the glass on Thursday evening, winning the rebounding battle 40-25. In addition, UCLA shot a perfect 11-for-11 at the free throw line.
UCLA used a 21-2 scoring run just before halftime, turning a 21-19 Washington State advantage into a 17-point lead for the Bruins. The Cougars scored the final five points of the first half, and UCLA led by a 40-28 margin at the intermission.
Bernard nailed a 3-pointer at the 5:39 mark in the first half to push UCLA ahead for good (at 24-21). Myles Johnson followed with a pair of free throws for UCLA, and Peyton Watson hit a jump shot to help the Bruins extend their margin to 28-23.
UCLA limited Washington State to 33 percent shooting in the first half, as the Cougars made 9 of 27 shots. Bernard scored 13 of his 19 points before halftime.
Washington State scored the first five points of the second half, trimming UCLA's advantage to just seven points (at 40-33). From that point, the Bruins pushed their lead back into double figures on a layup by Riley and a 3-pointer from Bernard.
UCLA led 55-40 with 14:33 to play in the second half and extended its margin to 20 points with five minutes remaining in the contest.
A slam dunk in transition by Jaylen Clark helped seal the game and give UCLA a 75-55 advantage with 1:48 to go.
The Bruins will return to action in the semifinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament on Friday, March 11. UCLA will face either No. 3-seed USC at T-Mobile Arena at 8:30 p.m. (PT). UCLA's game will be nationally televised on Friday by FS1.
The winner of Friday's two semifinal contests (at 6 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.) will advance to Saturday evening's Pac-12 championship game (at 6 p.m.).