LOS ANGELES (AP)Johnny Juzang scored a career-high 17 points and UCLA rolled to a 91-61 victory over Washington State on Thursday, extending its overall winning streak to five and its home-court victory streak to 14.
The Bruins (10-2, 6-0 Pac-12) remain the lone undefeated team in league play. They are off to their best start in the Pac-12 since going 7-0 to begin the 1993-94 season.
Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 16 points each for the Bruins. Cody Riley had 12 points and six rebounds.
”As much as we’re willing passers on this team, we’re all offensive threats,” Campbell said. ”We were very good at that today.”
UCLA got off to strong starts in both halves, opening the game with eight straight points and the second half with six straight.
”That first-half stretch where just shots were dropping, we’re hitting each other and screening for each other. It’s awesome,” said Juzang, a Kentucky transfer. ”When we see shots falling like that, it really doesn’t get much better.”
The Cougars (9-3, 2-3) dropped their 10th straight at Pauley Pavilion. They’ve lost three of their last four overall.
”We showed our inexperience, our youth,” WSU coach Kyle Smith said. ”Some guys were hanging their heads. We weren’t in sync.”
Isaac Bonton led the Cougars with 23 points, their only double-figure scorer. They were held to 23 points in the second half and made just one field goal over the final seven minutes.
”We came out without our spark, without our energy,” Bonton said. ”They attacked us early and they were more physical than us and played with more energy than us.”
UCLA’s quick second-half start pushed its lead to 22 points. Juzang scored five points in a 7-0 run and he had a basket in a 10-0 spurt that saw the Bruins ahead by 28 points. The starters retreated to the bench with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
”We were just having a lot of fun,” Juzang said.
The Bruins opened the game by hitting their first four baskets on their way to shooting 64% from the floor. Campbell didn’t miss a shot in the half, going 6 of 6 from the floor and making both of his 3-pointers.
”Eight of the first nine assists were from eight different guys. Everybody was moving the ball,” Bruins coach Mick Cronin said. ”The ball went in for us and it made us awfully hard to cover us.”
They outscored the Cougars 26-19, including seven straight, to lead 54-38 at halftime. It was the most points in a half by the Bruins since scoring 62 in the second half against Oregon on Feb. 23, 2019.
”We got punched in the mouth,” Bonton said.
Washington State: The Cougars start three freshmen and a sophomore along with senior Bonton, their leading scorer at 17.7 points. The combined 26 starts by Efe Abogidi, Andrej Jakimovski and Dishon Jackson are fourth-most in Division I.
UCLA: The preseason pick to win the Pac-12, the Bruins have five players averaging double figures and are adjusting well to losing All-Pac-12 senior Chris Smith to a torn ACL five games ago. ”Leadership has been growing on this team,” Cronin said.
Washington State: Visits Southern California on Saturday to wrap up a stretch of four straight road games.
UCLA: Hosts Washington on Saturday.
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