No. 11 UCLA defeats Washington 74-49 for 10th straight win

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SEATTLE, Wash. — Adem Bona scored a career-high 18 points, Jaime Jaquez Jr. added another 17, and No. 11 UCLA defeated Washington 74-49 on Sunday night.

It was the Bruins’ 10th straight victory to close out their Pacific Northwest road trip.

“Winning is contagious,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said of the Bruins streak. “Anybody that I can give advice to that gets a head coaching job . you can never accept losing.”

David Singleton added 14 points for the Bruins (13-2, 4-0 Pac-12) and Tyger Campbell had 15 points and 11 assists.

“This is one that we needed really bad,” said Jaquez, who added seven rebounds and five assists. “We didn’t play really well in Washington (State) and we knew that, so we had to come back as a collective.”

Washington (9-6, 1-3) has dropped their last three, two against ranked opponents. The Huskies were led by junior center Braxton Meah, notching a season high 20 points on 9 of 10 shooting. Senior Cole Bajema tallied nine points.

“For the most part, I like how we battled,” Washington head coach Mike Hopkins said. “UCLA is one of the top teams in the country for a reason. They were physical with us, the refs let us play. We missed some shots we normally make.”

Washington was held to 35% from the field (19-55) and 2 of 25 from 3-point range.

UCLA finished 45% from the field (29-64) and hit 9 of 23 3-point attempts. UCLA narrowly edged Washington in the rebound battle (36-34).

“We have a saying – uncomfortable teams shoot a low percentage,” Cronin said.

UCLA held Washington’s leading scorer senior Keion Brooks to a season-low six points, hitting 1 of 7 attempts from the field and 4 of 4 from the free throw line.

He didn’t make a basket in the second half.

“We tried to make sure we didn’t let him get the ball easily and get one on one opportunities,” Cronin said.

Bona, the freshman forward from Nigeria, along with making 8 of 10 from the field, blocked three shots including one from 3-point range.

“I will say I did good today on both ends,” Bona said. “I tried my best in any way possible to win.”

UCLA never trailed after a 12-0 run early in the first half gave them a 17-6 advantage. They held the Huskies 0-7 from the field during that spurt before Meah scored to cut the deficit to 17-8 with 11:30 remaining in the half.

Washington hit its first 3-pointer from Koren Johnson with 5:09 left in the first half after starting 0-10 from beyond the arc.

The Huskies trailed by five in the final minutes of the first before a pair of 3s from Singleton and Campbell gave the Bruins a 36-27 advantage at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: Freshman guard Amari Bailey missed his second straight game because of a sore foot. Singleton stepped in to make his second start of the season on the road trip, scoring in double figures and hitting all four free throws.

Washington: The Huskies face another tough challenge on the road with No. 5 Arizona on Thursday. It’s their fourth ranked opponent in their last seven games.

UP NEXT

UCLA: The Bruins return home and host Southern Cal on Thursday.

Washington: The Huskies travel to No. 5 Arizona on Thursday.

Tubelis scores 21, No. 5 Arizona beats Arizona State 69-60

Alex Gould / USA TODAY NETWORK
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TEMPE, Ariz. – Azuolas Tubelis scored 21 points, Oumar Ballo had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 5 Arizona withstood a second-half comeback by Arizona State for a 69-60 victory Saturday.

Kerr Kriisa had 12 points and five assists for the Wildcats (13-1, 2-1 Pac-12), who won their fifth straight in the series. They entered averaging 90.2 points per game, second in Division I. Neither team shot better than 40% from the floor.

“We’re going to be a great defensive and rebounding team,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “I’m making no druthers about that. I don’t care what our offense is ranked. We play to get the result.”

The Sun Devils (11-3, 2-1) scored 19 of the first 23 points of the second half after going to a full-court press and cut a 45-28 halftime deficit to 49-47 with 13 minutes left. Lloyd did not call a timeout during Arizona State’s big run, and when it was over, Arizona responded with a 10-3 run to regain control.

“We lacked composure for a certain stretch, and I wanted our guys to figure it out,” Lloyd said. “There is a reason you try to build a lead in the first half, especially on the road. You have to try to stretch it out, because you know they are going to make that run. It’s about winning the game. It is not about who makes a run in the first half or a strong run in the second half. It’s finding a way to close out and win the game, and our guys did the job.”

Frankie Collins had 12 points to lead Arizona State and Devan Cambridge added nine. Leading scorer DJ Horne was held to seven points and was 3 of 11 from the floor. Arizona had a 44-36 rebounding edge and shot 37.7% from the floor. The Sun Devils shot 36.2%.

“They are so aggressive and scrappy,” Lloyd said. “Their ball pressure was tremendous. They did a really good job being active. We have to toughen up a little bit and find different ways to attack it.”

The Wildcats made 24 of 28 free-throws attempts. Arizona State was 7 of 10. The Sun Devils missed their first 13 3-point field-goal attempts and were 3 of 27 from behind the arc.

“I mean, it’s crazy,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said. “They’re a top-five team in the country and beating some really good teams, and we lost by nine and went 3 for 27 from 3. So hopefully the guys who are normally hitting the shots and making those shots will connect a little better as we move forward.”

Tubelis has scored in double figures in all 14 games.

“He’s one of the best players in the league, and I think he showed it tonight,” teammate Courtney Ramey said.

Ballo’s foul-line jumper, his first basket of the game, gave Arizona a 30-14 lead with 6:19 remaining in the first half, forcing an Arizona State timeout. As the teams headed to their benches, Kriisa said “be quiet” as looked toward the ASU student section.

The Wildcats led by as many as 18 points in the first half.

BIG PICTURE

Arizona looked every bit a top-five team in the first half, but the Wildcats had surprising difficulty against Arizona State’s aggressive full-court press in the second half. The Sun Devils could have found their way back into the AP Top 25 with a win. Regardless, they will remain a contender in the Pac-12 because of a harassing defense that had limited opponents to 36.7% shooting from the floor coming in.

UP NEXT

Arizona: The Wildcats have a home series against Washington and Washington State on Thursday and Saturday.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils also host to the Washington schools next weekend.

Rice leads No. 10 UCLA to 82-74 win over No. 17 Oregon

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EUGENE, Ore. — Freshman Kiki Rice had 21 points and seven assists to lead No. 10 UCLA to an 82-74 victory over 17th-ranked Oregon on Friday night.

UCLA (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12) senior guard Charisma Osborne added 17 points before leaving the game in the fourth quarter due to an injury.

Senior guard Endyia Rogers had 18 points and five assists to lead the Ducks (10-3, 1-1). Freshman Grace VanSlooten and junior guard Te-Hina Paopao each had 17 points.

UCLA led 54-48 after three quarters and pulled away with a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter.

Rice converted a three-point play to open the quarter before Gabriela Jaquez added a basket. Gina Conti converted back-to-back buckets to put UCLA ahead 63-48. Emily Bessoir made a 3-pointer that pushed the Bruins to a 68-50 lead before Oregon scored 11 points in a row.

Oregon closed within 70-64 on a 3-pointer by Paopao before UCLA’s Camryn Brown made a three-point play with 3:27 left.

Oregon rallied from a 38-32 halftime deficit and took a 43-42 lead on a basket by Phillipina Kyei early in the third quarter. UCLA responded with eight straight points, including four straight by Osborne for a 50-43 advantage. Brown capped off the quarter with a bucket to put UCLA ahead 54-48.

Rice scored 15 points in the opening half and Osborne added 11 as the pair combined to make 4 of 8 3-pointers. Rogers scored 12 to pace the Ducks in the half.

BIG PICTURE:

UCLA: The Bruins are tied for first place in the conference and validated their top-10 ranking with a road win over the Ducks.

UCLA’s only loss was 73-64 at No. 1 South Carolina, and the Bruins also have a 80-63 win over Tennessee, which was ranked No. 11 at the time. The Bruins have a showdown at home looming against No. 2 Stanford in two weeks.

Oregon: All three of Oregon’s losses have come against ranked teams as UCLA joined No. 3 Ohio State and No. 13 North Carolina as teams that have beaten the Ducks. Oregon has a win over No. 24 Arkansas as it looks to build its postseason resume.

UP NEXT:

UCLA: The Bruins visit Oregon State on Sunday.

Oregon: The Ducks host USC on Sunday.

Jones’ hot hand powers No. 2 Stanford past rival Cal 90-69

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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STANFORD, Calif. – Haley Jones hit her initial six shots and scored 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and four assists, leading No. 2 Stanford past California 90-69 on Friday in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both schools.

Hannah Jump knocked down five 3-pointers on the way to 17 points to emphatically bounce back after missing all five of her tries from long range in Tuesday’s 72-59 home win against No. 21 Creighton. It was her first game without making a 3 since an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game vs. Texas last March.

Cameron Brink had 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks while Kiki Iriafen added nine points and seven boards as Stanford (13-1, 1-0 Pac-12). The Cardinal got 26 points from the bench in its eighth straight victory since a 76-71 overtime setback to top-ranked South Carolina at home on Nov. 20.

Jayda Curry scored 20 points and Leilani McIntosh added 17 for Cal (9-3, 0-1), which came in averaging 76.1 points and allowing 83.8. The Cardinal haven’t given up more than 77 points to an opponent since the end of the 2019-20 season.

Pac-12 favorite Stanford has won the last eight meetings in the rivalry, which currently features all-time winningest women’s coach and Hall of Famer Tara VanDerveer of Stanford opposite former Cardinal star Charmin Smith beginning her fourth season in Berkeley.

BIG PICTURE

California: Cal has lost 12 of 14 to Stanford overall and eight straight at Maples Pavilion since a win here on Feb. 22, 2015. … The Bears made their final three field goals of the second quarter yet trailed 47-29 at halftime. … Former Cal and Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour was again here at Maples today. She retired this year.

Stanford: Brink has 43 blocks through the first 14 games. … Stanford has held 77 of its last 83 opponents to 41.8% shooting or below, with Cal finishing at 39%. … The Cardinal held a 25-10 rebounding advantage in the first half and 48-25 overall. … Stanford is 37-8 vs. Cal on its home floor. The Cardinal are 8-1 at home this season. … Stanford was 2 of 9 from 3-point range in the opening half then wound up 7 for 24.

UP NEXT

California: Hosts No. 18 Arizona on Dec. 31.

Stanford: Hosts Arizona State on Dec. 31.

Boyle gets program record as Colorado downs Southern Utah 86-78

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Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports
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BOULDER, Colo. — KJ Simpson scored 21 points shooting 11 for 13 from the foul line and Colorado beat Southern Utah 86-78 Wednesday night to make Buffs head coach Tad Boyle the winningest coach in men’s program history.

The win was No. 262 for Boyle in his 13 years in Boulder, surpassing the 261 of legendary CU coach Sox Walseth, whose name graces the court at the CU Events Center.

Colorado (8-5) took control for good with a 13-0 run with Tristan da Silva scoring seven – including a 3-pointer – Nique Clifford added four and a Javon Ruffin bucket inside with 6:07 to play gave CU a 73-59 edge.

Southern Utah (8-5) closed the deficit to single digits in the final minute, but the Buffs made seven free throws to hold on for the win.

Colorado built a 12-point lead in the first before the Thunderbirds reduced the deficit to trail 38-34 at the half.

The Thunderbirds then erased CU’s edge after halftime, taking a 44-42 lead less than four minutes in. The two teams then traded the lead several times over the next four minutes, with SUU taking a 57-55 edge with 11 minutes left.

Da Silva scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Colorado, Clifford 14 and reserve Julian Hammond III 11.

Southern Utah’s Harrison Butler scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, reserve Cameron Healy 15, Tevian Jones 14 and Maizen Fausett 13.

Jaquez leads No. 16 UCLA past No. 13 Kentucky 63-53 at MSG

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NEW YORK – After a terrific East Coast road trip, UCLA coach Mick Cronin is eager to ditch this December chill and savor the spoils in sunshine.

“We’re going home, and it’s going to be 75 (degrees),” he said. “I’m grilling out on Christmas.”

Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 19 points and 12 rebounds as No. 16 UCLA turned back No. 13 Kentucky 63-53 in a matchup of college basketball royalty Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Jaylen Clark added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Tyger Campbell also scored 15 for the streaking Bruins (10-2). UCLA won its seventh straight game and passed another early test away from Pauley Pavilion following an 87-60 blowout Wednesday night at No. 20 Maryland.

“We know what we’re capable of if we play with the toughness we played with this week,” Cronin said.

Freshman forward Chris Livingston led the Wildcats (7-3) with a career-high 14 points off the bench, and Sahvir Wheeler had 11 points and six assists.

Big man Oscar Tshiebwe, the consensus 2022 national player of the year, pulled down 16 rebounds but was held to eight points – two in the second half – on 4-of-12 shooting as the Bruins double- and triple-teamed him.

“I haven’t lost any faith in the team. I’m disappointed,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “There’s a lot of things that I would say, like, we’re better than this. But we’re going to have to show it.”

UCLA owns 11 national championships, most of any school, while Kentucky ranks second with eight. Chanting fans of both blue-blood programs packed Madison Square Garden for a CBS Sports Classic game the Bruins led almost the entire way despite hitting only two 3-pointers and going 7 for 15 at the free throw line.

“MSG is something I’ve always wanted to be a part of, always wanted to play in,” Jaquez said. “When I found out we were coming here, this was marked on my calendar. … I’m just so happy we won here.”

After trailing by 13 late in the first half, Kentucky went into the break down eight, but opened the second period on a 13-5 spurt behind eight points from Livingston to tie the score twice.

Jaquez responded with a basket inside before feeding David Singleton for a 3-pointer that capped a 6-0 spurt, and the Bruins held on the rest of the way. Kentucky trimmed it to 55-53 with 4 1/2 minutes left, but Campbell hit a tough basket in the lane and UCLA scored the final eight points to pull away.

“I would say that became a bloodbath. At some point, I don’t know, it became a Big East game,” Cronin said. “We were really tough down the stretch on the backboard and loose balls, and that was the key for us.”

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: The experienced Bruins made 11 steals and stamped themselves legitimate title contenders with another impressive win against tough competition away from home. They are 7-0 since consecutive losses in Las Vegas to then-No. 19 Illinois and then-No. 5 Baylor in November.

“We had a lot to prove this trip,” Jaquez said. “We knew that we dropped two in Vegas, and we knew we were a much more capable team than we showed. We were on a mission to get better every day and prepare for this and show the world what we can do.”

Kentucky: Despite a whopping 21 offensive rebounds, the Wildcats were outrebounded 43-42 overall and struggled in every other facet on offense. They shot just 33% from the field, including 6 of 21 from 3-point range (29%), and went 5 for 13 at the foul line.

“We miss so many open shots, it becomes demoralizing, and the crazy thing is we still could have won the game,” Calipari said. “We have good shooters. We’re one of the better 3-point shooting teams, and we missed.”

Kentucky also committed 18 turnovers, 12 in the first half, and did not score a point on the fast break. The Wildcats are still looking for their first win over an AP Top 25 opponent this season. They had won four in a row since losing 88-72 at then-No. 2 Gonzaga on Nov. 20. Kentucky also lost in double overtime to Michigan State on Nov. 15.

“We’ll get better,” Calipari said.

FAMILY AFFAIR

New York Knicks power forward Obi Toppin, the reigning NBA slam dunk contest champion, was in the stands with family at his home arena cheering on his younger brother. Kentucky senior Jacob Toppin, born in Brooklyn, had a rough night though, scoring only five points on 2-for-10 shooting. He did grab seven rebounds. Obi Toppin is currently sidelined by a knee injury.

UP NEXT

UCLA: Will host UC Davis from the Big West on Wednesday before resuming Pac-12 play after Christmas with a visit to Washington State on Dec. 30.

Kentucky: Plays host to Florida A&M on Wednesday night before opening the SEC schedule with a trip to Missouri on Dec. 28.