Johnny Juzang’s 25 points led five UCLA players in double figures Monday night as the second-ranked Bruins pulled away in the second half to outgun Long Beach State 100-79 in Los Angeles.
Jules Bernard added 22 for the Bruins (3-0), while Tyger Campbell scored 15 points and dished out six assists. Jaime Jaquez Jr. chipped in 17 points, and sophomore Jaylen Clark came off the bench to tie his career high with 10.
The Beach (1-1) got brilliant performances from Joel Murray and Colin Slater, who finished with 30 and 27 points, respectively. The duo canned a combined 23 of 30 shots as Long Beach State connected on 58.2 percent of its field-goal tries.
However, the Beach ran into turnover problems, coughing the ball up 25 times, and UCLA converted those into a whopping 38 points. That led to a couple of big runs in the second half that turned a surprisingly tight game into the one-sided affair most expected.
The Bruins scored nine points off turnovers during a 13-2 burst to start the second half, taking a 61-47 lead when Jaquez hit a jump hook with 16:03 left. Another batch of points off turnovers upped the margin to 18 with 10:28 remaining.
Long Beach State displayed no fear of UCLA during the first half, even when Juzang started off on a tear by scoring 10 of the Bruins’ first 12 points. That’s because Murray rattled off the Beach’s first eight points, mostly on layups.
UCLA opened up a 23-14 lead at the 10:29 mark when Juzang converted a layup, but Long Beach State responded with 14 consecutive points. Slater scored the last 12 in a span of 2:34, finishing it with a step-back jumper that made it 28-23 with 7:16 on the clock.
However, the Bruins answered back with eight straight points to regain the lead and then kept a narrow advantage for most of the half’s remainder.
Murray finished off a 20-point half by canning a step-back jumper in the last minute, enabling the Beach to pull within 48-45 at intermission.
–Field Level Media