Jaylen Clark and UCLA overcome gradual begin to knock off UC Davis

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin knew his group tapped into one thing particular and acquainted throughout their East Coast journey, which noticed the Bruins take down ranked opponents Maryland and Kentucky.

However how his group would maintain that heading into Wednesday’s 81-54 win over UC Davis was very a lot on his thoughts and was a theme within the days main as much as the nonconference finale.

“A long trip, get home in the middle of the night, off Sunday — you gotta be able to come in Monday and be ready,” Cronin stated. “In the real world, you got to show up every day. … You gotta be a professional, you gotta come in to handle your business.”

Regardless of a sluggish begin, the Bruins (11-2) in the end dealt with their enterprise locking up their eighth straight win heading into the guts of Pac-12 convention play, which resumes Dec. 30 in opposition to Washington State.

The Bruins went scoreless throughout the first three minutes of the sport earlier than Jaylen Clark related on an alley-oop to freshman large man Adem Bona. By the top of the primary half, nonetheless, UCLA discovered their rhythm and went into the break with a 12-point lead.

“Real teams play when they have a bunch of players that compete when they don’t have the ball, so early on, that wasn’t the case,” Cronin stated.

Senior Tyger Campbell gave credit score to the Aggies (7-5) protection for his group’s gradual begin.

“I just think the way UC Davis plays defense is they try to disrupt you,” Campbell stated. “We had to kind of settle into the game a little bit at the beginning as opposed to running our plays.”

Clark led the way in which for the Bruins with 18 factors, including 11 rebounds and three assists. The opposite members of UCLA’s large three, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Campbell, put collectively strong performances . Jaquez Jr. scored 14 factors and grabbed eight rebounds and Campbell added 17 factors.

Freshman guard Amari Bailey scored seve factors, however suffered an obvious ankle damage late within the second half. There was no replace on his situation after the sport.

Cronin had nothing however reward for Clark’s efficiency.

“I believe in, what do you do when you don’t have the ball?” Cronin stated. “Do you play or do you watch? Obviously, Jaylen Clark plays.”

Clark knew going into the sport that it could be a troublesome outing for the Bruins, however by no means doubted his or the group’s potential to seek out their manner.

“I feel like I knew coming in, especially after last week and with it being the holidays, everybody ready to go home and see their families and stuff like that, it was gonna be a hard game to get up for,” Clark stated. “So we got off to a slow start. I was missing steals and stuff. … I just wanted to make a pass or something so [we could] just get it started. I know once the ball got rolling we were gonna go ahead and do what we do.”