No. 9 UCLA beats Washington to snap 2-game skid
LOS ANGELES — With the regular season nearing the stretch run, what the UCLA men’s basketball team hopes was the opening act of another lengthy win streak took place on Thursday night, as the Bruins started strong and held off Washington, 70-61, at Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins (18-4 overall, 9-2 Pac-12) were coming off consecutive road losses to rivals Arizona and USC, two of the better teams in the conference. UCLA had won 14 consecutive games prior to those defeats.
Washington (13-11, 5-8 Pac-12) – which UCLA defeated, 74-49, in Seattle last month – did not provide the Bruins with nearly the same level of competition as the Wildcats and Trojans.
Jamie Jaquez Jr. led the Bruins with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Amari Bailey, making his first start since returning from a foot injury, had 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Four Bruins scored in double figures, with Tyger Campbell (11 points) and Adem Bona (10 points) joining Jaquez and Bailey. Jaylen Clark and David Singleton both added nine points.
The win wasn’t entirely comfortable, though. After a strong first half, UCLA’s offense faltered in the second half. Washington trimmed a 16-point halftime deficit to single digits, and it took a few defensive stops to seal the win while the Bruins were held scoreless themselves for the last three minutes.
UCLA went into Thursday’s schedule a half-game ahead of Arizona atop the Pac-12 standings, staying in first with the win. The Bruins have now won eight straight over Washington and currently have the longest home win streak in the nation at 20 games.
The Bruins jumped on the Huskies from the start, scoring the first eight points of the game and then clamping down on defense. During one stretch in the first half, Washington committed six turnovers in seven minutes and had 13 turnovers in all through the first 20 minutes.
UCLA also did not allow Washington to shoot a free throw until midway through the second half.
Keion Brooks Jr. led the Huskies with 23 points.
Bona capped a 12-0 first-half run with a steal and a dunk in transition, Bailey rewarding him for running the floor as they extended their lead to 26-8. Bailey had missed seven games with a foot injury before entering the USC game off the bench.
The Bruins scored early and often from close range, with 26 of their first 30 points coming in the paint. That helped UCLA shoot 57% from the field in the first half despite going 2 for 8 from 3-point range.
UCLA hosts Washington State on Saturday at 4 p.m.
More to come on this story.