UCLA Defeats Saint Mary’s, 72-56, to Advance to Sweet 16
PORTLAND, Ore. – Tyger Campbell scored 16 points to lead the No. 4-seed Bruins past No. 5-seed Saint Mary's, 72-56, in a second round contest of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at the Moda Center.
The Bruins (27-7) have advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 for the fifth time in the past nine seasons and for the second consecutive year.
Campbell, one of four UCLA players to score in double figures, was a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line and had four assists. Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 15 points, Johnny Juzang totaled 14 points and Jules Bernard finished with 10 points.
Jaquez Jr. and Juzang both made 6 of 11 shots from the field.
"Tyger has just been a dominant player," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "That and we played the whole game with six turnovers. That's a marketed way we play. It makes it hard to score on us, because we just don't give easy baskets. We make you play five-on-five because we don't give the ball away. It was a great win for us."
Logan Johnson scored a team-leading 18 points for Saint Mary's. Matthias Tass had 14 points, while Alex Ducas and Tommy Kuhse finished with 11 points.
UCLA played stifling defense against Saint Mary's (26-8) on Saturday, limiting the Gaels to their lowest point total since dropping a 52-43 decision to BYU on Jan. 8. UCLA improved its record to 22-0 when holding the opposition to 65 points or fewer.
The Bruins trailed in the early going, but erased a seven-point deficit with 10 minutes to play before halftime. UCLA used a 17-2 scoring run over an eight-minute stretch before halftime to build a 30-22 advantage with 2:56 to play in the first half.
UCLA led Saint Mary's at halftime, 36-29. Campbell had drawn a foul and made a pair of free throws in the final second of the first half.
In the second half, Saint Mary's trimmed UCLA's lead to 38-37 on a pair of 3-pointers from Kuhse and Ducas. Bernard answered for the Bruins with a pair of 3-point baskets at the 14:53 and 13:21 marks, helping UCLA push its advantage to 46-39 at the 13-minute mark.
Juzang's jump shot with 11:22 to play in the second half gave UCLA a 50-44 cushion and helped spark a 12-5 scoring run for the Bruins. Leading 60-49 with five minutes left in the contest, after a pair of free throws by Juzang, UCLA's advantage never fell to any fewer than 10 points.
UCLA has advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 22nd time since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 32 teams in 1975. Most recently, the Bruins moved into the Sweet 16 (also known as the regional semifinals) in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2021.