UCLA’s journey to the East Coast was a roaring success. All one needed to do was pay attention.
A “U-C-L-A!” chant crammed Madison Sq. Backyard within the last minute of the No. 16 Bruins’ 63-53 victory over No. 13 Kentucky that accomplished a two-game sweep of nationally ranked groups.
Within the last seconds, UCLA guard Jaylen Clark flexed his arms and howled after he adopted a steal with a breakaway dunk. Level guard Tyger Campbell slammed the ball excessive off the court docket in pleasure after the Bruins (10-2) polished off their seventh consecutive win.
Kentucky missed its last 11 pictures, placing UCLA coach Mick Cronin in a great temper as he flashed a fours-up on his manner off the court docket.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 19 factors to go together with 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Clark and Campbell added 15 factors every for the Bruins, who outshot the Wildcats, 45.8% to 32.8%.
The Bruins have been in nice form after Campbell made a troublesome floater within the lane and Mac Etienne made two free throws to push UCLA’s result in 58-53 with 2:26 left. The Wildcats by no means scored once more.
Kentucky pulled right into a 40-40 tie early within the second half after lastly transferring previous its early sloppiness and placing UCLA’s massive males in severe foul bother.
When Wildcats ahead Oscar Tshiebwe made a layup and was fouled by Bruins counterpart Kenneth Nwuba, it gave Nwuba 4 fouls to go together with beginning heart Adem Bona’s three. Cronin was compelled to go together with Etienne, the third publish choice off his bench.
The Bruins responded with six consecutive factors, together with a three-pointer from David Singleton that rewarded him for an offensive rebound he grabbed a number of seconds earlier.
UCLA held a 35-27 halftime lead after forcing 12 turnovers and outshooting the Wildcats, 50% to 35.5%.
For a lot of the primary half, UCLA regarded prefer it was on the way in which to a repeat of its 27-point rout of Maryland three days earlier, quieting a crowd that was largely pro-Kentucky. Robust and bodily, the Bruins led by as many as 13 factors after they generated steals and one other Kentucky turnover when Jaquez sprawled onto the court docket to power a soar ball.
Jaquez rewarded followers who chanted his identify by sinking back-to-back jumpers to push UCLA’s result in 31-18. After the Wildcats rolled off seven consecutive factors late within the half, lastly sparking howls from their followers, Jaquez salvaged UCLA’s last possession by grabbing a unfastened ball for a layup with one second left.