No. 9 UCLA routs Washington State 76-52; 13-0 at home
Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 24 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and the UCLA No. 9 defeated Washington State 76-52 on Saturday night to win its 21st straight home game.
LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES (AP) — A little over a week after a mind-wrecking loss to crosstown rivals Southern California, UCLA underwent a recruitment test.
Senior David Singleton rallied his teammates and reminded them their time together is short. March is upon us and the ninth-placed Bruins are looking to make a national championship run.
“We’re playing for something bigger than ourselves,” Singleton told them. “I just wanted to get them thinking.”
Jaime Jaquez Jr. heard his colleague loud and clear. That was evident on Saturday night in UCLA’s 76-52 win over Washington State.
Jaquez had 24 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in the Bruins’ 21st straight home win.
“We exonerated ourselves. You often get pressure from outside, from the media, from people telling us this or that. Today we came together,” Jaquez said. “We played with a completely different attitude, a much more positive attitude and didn’t think about anything other than winning a game.”
The Bruins (19-4, 10-2 Pac-12) have the nation’s longest active home winning streak, including a 13-0 mark at Pauley Pavilion this season.
“It was closer to playing 40 minutes at the intensity that we want,” said UCLA coach Mick Cronin. “We needed it.”
Washington State (10-15, 5-9) was without second-best scorer DJ Rodman. The senior missed both games in Los Angeles due to illness. The Cougars were led by TJ Bamba with 19 points. Justin Powell added 17 and hit five 3-pointers.
The Cougars lost by a point at home to the Bruins on December 30 after leading the game for over 35 minutes. This time, WSU held it tight early in the first half before UCLA twice pulled away by a 10-point lead.
“We did a good job of keeping them from getting comfortable even though they fired,” Cronin said.
The Bruins dominated the second half. Jaquez scored 10 of their first 15 points. He had four in a row to lead an 11-0 run that stretched UCLA’s lead from single digits to 57-38.
“He has great talent,” Cronin said. “He can do anything you ask him to do.”
The Cougars committed 11 of their 15 turnovers in the first half. UCLA scored 19 points fewer than WSU’s miscues.
Washington State: The Cougars are progressing in the wrong direction with six games left in the regular season. They’ve lost five out of six and two in a row. Of their remaining games, two are against teams below them in the Pac-12 standings.
UCLA: The Bruins have eight regular season games left in which to defend their Pac-12 lead. The biggest comes at the end when they host No. 5 Arizona, the team chasing them in the standings. The Wildcats won 58-52 in Tucson last month, ending UCLA’s 14-game winning streak.
BETTER IN EVERY CATEGORY
The Bruins outperformed the Cougars in every category. They outperformed WSU 36-12 in color and their bench outperformed the WSU reserves 17-0. Singleton had eight points off the bench to go with three rebounds, three steals and two assists.
“I only have so many games left so I decided to play my heart out,” he said. “It’s not even about points, it’s about the hustle plays.”
Washington State: Hosts compete with Washington on February 11th.
UCLA: Visits Oregon State on Thursday.
https://www.king5.com/article/sports/ncaa/ncaaf/cougars/no-9-ucla-routs-washington-state-76-52-13-0-at-home/281-0998e069-dd5b-452a-bb43-f7eeadc6eccc No. 9 UCLA routs Washington State 76-52; 13-0 at home