CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP)Amari Bailey scored a career-high 24 points to lead No. 7 UCLA to a 62-47 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night.
Bailey, a freshman guard, was 10 of 16 from the field and scored 18 points in the second half as UCLA pulled away.
The Bruins (20-4, 11-2 Pac-12) lead the conference in opponent scoring defense, allowing 59 points per game. The Bruins made things difficult for Oregon State (9-16, 3-11 Pac-12) with their man-to-man defense, allowing their fewest points this season.
Oregon State had just 30 points with less than five minutes remaining and padded its scoring total down the stretch with the game out of reach.
”I thought we played pretty decent on that end,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. ”But they had a good strategy. Play deliberate to try and shorten the game.”
Jaylen Clark added 16 points and three steals for the Bruins. Jaime Jaquez Jr., the Bruins’ leading scorer averaging 16.3 points, was limited to seven points and a game-best 12 rebounds. Point guard Tyger Campbell, UCLA’s second-leading scorer, had three points and five assists.
”We’ve got to get to a point where we can win games when Tyger and Jaime don’t score,” Cronin said.
That was certainly the case against Oregon State, with Jaquez and Campbell combining for 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting.
Clark came out of a shooting slump, connecting on 7 of 11 from the field, and Bailey had his best offensive game.
”In practice today, we were just looking for the open man,” Bailey said. ”The open man is the right option. I was the open man, and we tried to make some plays on defense to get transition buckets.”
Jordan Pope led the Beavers with 17 points, and Glenn Taylor Jr. added 10. Oregon State shot 35.7% from the field and committed 18 turnovers with only four assists.
”UCLA is a very physical team on and off the ball,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.
The Beavers, slowed by 11 turnovers, trailed by 13 points at halftime after hitting just 35% from the field. UCLA closed the first half on a 12-2 run, punctuated by Jaquez’s 3-pointer.
UCLA maintained its slim lead over No. 4 Arizona (21-3, 10-3) in the conference standings.
Clark’s layup on a fast break gave the Bruins a 46-24 advantage with 11:10 remaining, and Oregon State never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way. UCLA’s largest lead in the game was 27 points.
The Bruins connected on 50% of their field goal attempts.
UCLA: The Bruins are projected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Defense continues to be UCLA’s strength, along with the solid all-around play of Jaquez, a senior forward, and the emergence of Bailey.
The regular-season finale looms big for the Bruins, with Arizona visiting Pauley Pavilion on March 4.
Oregon State: Growing pains continue for the Beavers, who had three freshmen and a sophomore in their starting lineup Thursday. Ten players have started at least one game this season.
Despite a losing record, Oregon State is much improved from last season’s 3-28, following a run to the Elite Eight in 2021.
UCLA: At Oregon on Saturday.
Oregon State: Host USC on Saturday.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25