RECAP: UCLA earns wire-to-wire upset win over BYU

Mar 20, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brigham Young Cougars center Richard Harward (42) and UCLA Bruins guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (4) fight for the rebound iduring the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Two nights after an overtime First Four win, No. 11 seed UCLA jumped out to an early lead and never trailed en route to a 73-62 upset win over No. 6 BYU on Saturday in the East Region at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Johnny Juzang was the big story of the night for the Bruins (19-9), who advanced to the second round, where they’ll face No. 14 Abilene Christian on Monday. The Wildcats upset No. 3 Texas 53-52 Saturday.

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Juzang was unable to finish Thursday’s win over Michigan State after suffering a high ankle sprain in the last minute. The guard’s status for Saturday’s game was unknown until just before tipoff, and the Cougars wish he’d taken more time to recover.

Juzang scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to spark UCLA from the jump.

Jules Bernard added 16 points for the Bruins, who are one of five Pac-12 teams to advance to the second round. Jaime Jaquez Jr. also had a nice showing with 13 points and eight rebounds.

Alex Barcello had a solid showing for the Cougars (20-7) with 20 points, Brandon Averette contributed 15 and Matt Haarms totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds.

But BYU struggled mightily with its bread-and-butter long-distance game, hitting just 3 of 17 3-pointers in the loss. The Cougars also only connected on 9 of 16 free throws.

UCLA, which only had four turnovers all night, took a surprising 38-27 lead into the break. But for a while in the second half, it looked like BYU might flip the script.

After a Juzang jumper put the Bruins up 43-29, the Cougars scored 10 straight thanks to a Barcello 3-pointer and jumper, two Averette buckets and a free throw from Connor Harding.

But UCLA responded with an 11-4 run to re-establish a double-digit lead.

The Cougars, who lost consecutive games for the first time in BYU coach Mark Pope’s two-year tenure, couldn’t get any closer than seven after that.

–Field Level Media