No. 8 UCLA Drops 80-75 Decision to No. 5 Baylor in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS – Jaylen Clark notched the second double-double of his career as No. 8 UCLA fell to No. 5 Baylor, 80-75, in the consolation final of the Continental Tire Main Event at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Clark scored a season-high 23 points and totaled 10 rebounds for the Bruins (3-2). Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell joined Clark in double figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Baylor was led by a pair of 20-plus point performances from its backcourt in LJ Cryer (28 points) and Adam Flagler (22 points). The two guards each made four 3-pointers, shooting a combined 52 percent from the field on Sunday (17-for-33).
"We've worked hard at it," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "We're just not there yet. Not against a team like this. We're just not there yet. Not enough to win the game. … Mental effort is more important than physical effort – to do what you're being told to do."
With the game tied, 50-50, UCLA's Dylan Andrews nailed a 3-pointer to give the Bruins a 53-30 advantage with 11:45 remaining. From that point in the contest, the Bears used an 11-0 scoring run to secure a 61-53 lead. Dale Bonner sank a game-tying 3-pointer less than 25 seconds later, and Baylor regained the lead with five ensuing free throws over the next two minutes of action. A 3-pointer by Flagler at the 9:11 mark put the Bears ahead, 61-53.
UCLA cut Baylor's cushion to three points at the seven-minute mark and down to one point after Clark made two free throws with 3:40 to play (the Bruins were down, 68-67).
Cryer responded for Baylor by knocking down a 3-pointer with 2:50 remaining in regulation. UCLA never tied the game or reduced the Bears' advantage to any fewer than three points over the final three minutes.
Clark scored 17 points in the first half, connecting on 8 of 10 shots. Two of his biggest buckets too place during a 10-0 UCLA scoring run. He had a putback dunk and a layup that drew a foul, helping put the Bruins ahead of Baylor, 21-19, with 7:14 to play before the intermission.
UCLA trailed Baylor at halftime, 37-35. A 6-0 scoring surge late in the opening half was capped by another Clark dunk, off a bounce pass from Andrews.
No. 8-ranked UCLA will return home to face Pepperdine on Wednesday evening in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Game time is 7:30 p.m. (PT). UCLA's non-conference game against the Waves will be televised by the Pac-12 Network (broadcasters, J.B. Long and Don MacLean).