(East Los Angeles, CA) November 20, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team is off to a great start at (4-0) and their #2 national ranking in the early season college hoops polls has given them firm confidence in holding that greatly valued spot. Their first two wins were against Cal State Bakersfield (95-58) and #4, nationally ranked Villanova in overtime, (86-77). We’ve now started our coverage of the Bruins Men’s team, and this will catch you up to date as they begin a four game road set in Las Vegas starting tomorrow.
As mentioned, this National poll scenario is a recognition, as well as a continuation from last season’s dramatic run to the 2021 NCAA semifinal game, before losing a heartbreaker as the world watched a 3-point “buzzer-beater” by Gonzaga’s guard, Jalen Suggs drop into the basket from 40′ away. It was a game that will “Live on” in the annals of the NCAA’s March Madness Run to The Final Four!”
(Pre-Game Notes): The Bruins, due to the sharp and early play of #3/Johnny Juzang, #10/Tyger Campbell, and #24/Jaime Jaquez, Jr., recently propelled them to an exciting and a high profile, early season (86-77) overtime victory over the #4 ranked Villanova Wildcats on 11/12 Friday at Pauley Pavilion. The next home game was against Long Beach State on Monday, 11/15, followed by the Wednesday, 11/17 match-up with North Florida University.
(Game Summary): Juzang got his Bruins off to a great start as he hit (5) quick points from the 18′ to 21′ range on picture-perfect jumpers. The Bruins went back & forth with the Beach up until halftime. Highlighting the close, determined play, and effort of “The Beach,” were their outstanding duo of guards Joel Murray and Colin Slater, who kept them very close to the Bruins at the start of the contest and translated that into (5) lead changes and (6) ties in the period. The Beach had the Best Scoring Run of (14) in the period as well as the Biggest Lead of (5) points at the (7:16) mark. The halftime score was UCLA 48, Long Beach State 45.
(2nd Half): The Bruins came out hot, fired up by their trio of Juzang, Jaquez, Jr., and Campbell. Add a very busy #1/Jules Bernard’s contributions and the lead shot into double digits, (66-56). #0/SO/Jaylen Clark, as a reserve came in and played solid on offense when he hit a leaping leaner from 3′ in front of the hoop and was fouled. He completed the 3-point play for a (69-58) lead with (12:56) left. It was (73-58) with (11:02) left and the Bruins showing their dominance on both sides of the ball.
The last eight minutes of the contest featured a Bruin scoring spree started by a Juzang 3-pointer, (81-67). For the game, he led a pack of 4 other teammates who scored in double figures with his (25), followed in order by Bernard (22), Jaquez, Jr. (17), Campbell (15), and Clark (10).
As the game wound down to its end, more good work was shown to Head Coach Mick Cronin, by #34/SR/David Singleton. He scored underneath and was fouled for the “And 1” with (5:52) left. He completed it for an advantage of (84-70). Campbell then hit a “step-back” jumper for an (86-72) score. Then, Clark electrified the student body with a great “rim-rattling” stuff of a Campbell missed lay-up. It was now (88-73) with (4:36) left. (Of Significance): The Beach’s Joel Murray led all scorers in the game with (30), followed closely by his teammate, Colin Slater, who finished with (27).
It was all academic from that point on. There was also a celebrity sighting in Pauley when the former New York Yankee, 14 x MLB All-Star, and co-owner of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, Alex Rodriguez, was shown on the scoreboard videotron, tossing Bruin T-shirts into the Bruins student body sections. (Game Attendance): 7,219
After Long Beach State, the Bruins hosted the North Florida University “Ospreys” on Wednesday and easily defeated them by the score of (98-79). Jaime Jaquez performed very well with 20 points/8 rebounds/2 steals. He led these four Bruins in double figures: Juzang/17, Bernard/15, Campbell/13, and Singleton/11.
The Bruins first road trip features three games and a huge national rematch set for Tuesday, 11/23 against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. To close out their trip, they will face the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels at 2:00 pm on Saturday, 11/27, before returning home on Wednesday, December 1st to face the Colorado Buffaloes in their PAC-12 Opener.
(NEXT UP): The Bellarmine University “Knights” of the Atlantic Sun Conference,(ASUN) on Monday, 11/22 @5:00 PM in Las Vegas, NV at the T-Mobile Arena. Watch on TV: ESPN+ and Listen on RADIO: AM 570