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No. 8/7 UCLA Bests Norfolk State, 86-56

Nov 14, 2022
Amari Bailey (photo by Jan Kim Lim)

LOS ANGELES – Junior guard Jaylen Clark continued his early-season hot streak to lead the No. 8-ranked UCLA men's basketball team to an 86-56 win over Norfolk State on Monday night at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.
 
Clark paced UCLA (3-0) with a game-high 19 points. In all, six UCLA players scored in double figures as the Bruins extended their season-opening win streak to three games.
 
Each of UCLA's starters totaled at least 10 points. In addition, fifth-year guard David Singleton finished with 11 points off the bench. Senior Jaime Jaquez Jr. totaled 12 points, senior Tyger Campbell had 11 points (and seven assists), freshman Amari Bailey had 11 points (and five assists) and freshman Adem Bona tallied 10 points, five rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
 
Clark was most dangerous for UCLA from long-range, as the 6-foot-5 guard made a career-high five 3-pointers (on eight attempts). He led the Bruins with nine rebounds and tallied two steals.
 
"He's worked really hard, he really has," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "Again, we believe in player development. Tyger was not a shooter, now he is. Jaylen Clark was not a shooter, now he is. You're talking about two guys who had to make fundamental adjustments to the way they shoot the ball, and listen to the coaches and believe in their coaches. We had to reconstruct Jaylen's shot from the time he got here."
 
Campbell had seven assists and finished with three steals against Norfolk State (2-2).
 
Kris Bankston led the visiting Spartans with 17 points and nine rebounds through nearly 36 minutes. Caheim Brown totaled 13 points as Norfolk State's only other player to have scored in double figures on Monday night.
 
UCLA out-shot Norfolk State by a margin of 57 percent to 47 percent. The disparaity was particularly large from 3-point distance. The Bruins made 11 of 25 long-range attempts, while Norfolk State managed just 2 of 14 from 3-point territory.
 
The Bruins never trailed on Monday, playing their third regular-season contest in an eight-day span. Bailey opened the night's scoring by sinking a lay-up in transition. After the teams traded baskets during the first few minutes of the game, UCLA took the lead for good with a close-range shot from Jaquez Jr., handing the Bruins a 6-4 cushion at the 17:22 mark.
 
The Bruins pulled away mid-way through the first half with a 10-2 run, highlighted by five consecutive points from Clark. His first basket in that run came off a monstrous dunk following a Bailey steal, and he followed that up by draining a three-point attempt from the left wing to make it a seven-point game.
 
Clark converted from deep again at the 7:32 mark of the first half to push UCLA's lead into double digits for the first time at 32-21, and another trey from Singleton minutes later gave the Bruins a 39-27 lead with 4:13 left in the first half. UCLA's lead would not slip back into single digits the rest of the night.
 
The Bruins put the game away with a dominant second-half performance, outscoring the Spartans by a 40-23 margin. UCLA spread around the ball after halftime, as 10 different players scored points. With a pair of 3-point makes, Clark also led the Bruins in scoring in the second half.
 
UCLA returns to action this weekend, traveling to Las Vegas for the Continental Tire Main Event at T-Mobile Arena. The Bruins will face No. 19 Illinois on Friday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. (PT), televised nationally on ESPNU.
 
UCLA will face either No. 5 Baylor or No. 16 Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 20 (at either 12 p.m. or 2:30 p.m., PT). The game at noon on Sunday will be televised on ESPN, while the contest at 2:30 p.m. will air live on ESPN2.