Palo Alto, CA – The No. 21-ranked UCLA Bruins traveled to Northern California to play Stanford at Maples Pavilion. The game had the makings of a great match up with five NBA prospects participating. However, Stanford started off with seven turnovers in the first nine possessions as UCLA ran off to a 17-0 lead, then coasted to an 80-66 win.
UCLA took control of the game with its defense. Jaime Jaquez Jr. had three steals in the first six minutes which led to easy transition layups. UCLA’s superior athleticism was on full display with dunks from Jaquez Jr. and a thunderous lob dunk from freshman power forward Adem Bona. Jaquez Jr and Amari Bailey combined for 14 of UCLA’s first 17 points, scoring from all levels. Bailey was impressive with his efficiency and athleticism. He knocked down a three, hit a mid-range jumper and scored at the rim.
By the middle of the first half, the Bruins and Cardinal traded baskets. Stanford’s Harrison Ingram, an NBA prospect, had an off night missing badly from deep. He was tentative which grew with each missed shot. Ingram finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting and 0-of-5 on 3’s.
In the second half, the Cardinal found their footing behind improved three-point shooting from starter Spencer Jones and sixth man Mchael Jones. They combined for 28 of Stanford’s 66 points and were the only Cardinals in double figures. In addition, UCLA seemed to lose focus starting the second half with four turnovers and two missed layups. This spurred a 9-2 Stanford run at the 16:35 mark where the score was UCLA 52 – Stanford 38.
UCLA went cold and was out of sync, scattering shots here and there. David Singleton and Tyger Campbell hit back-to-back 3’s to hold off the surging Cardinal. Jaylen Clark had been a defensive menace for the Bruins with 16 steals in seven games (2.3 per game) but after some missed assignments he played only 19 minutes, well below his average of 29 minutes per game. Clark finished with four points (2-of 3 FGA) and one rebound. Clark is shooting 46 percent from 3 on the season. He didn’t take a three-pointer during this game
Ingram continues to struggle with shooting efficiency. He played just 20 minutes. He never looked comfortable in the Stanford offense which looked to him to be a playmaker. Ingram was benched the majority of the second half.
Bona fouled out with 1:53 remaining. While the game was firmly in hand. Bona’s awareness of time, score and game situations needs to improve. Bona would be well served to develop a mid-range shot, as of right now he is merely a lob finisher.
The stars of the game were Jaquez Jr. and Bailey. Jaquez Jr. finished with 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting (0-of-2 3’s), four rebounds and three steals. Jaquez Jr. was crafty with mid-range shooting and in-the-lane finishes. He had control of the game from the tip on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Bailey was also impressive with 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field including 2-of-2 from deep. He was explosive with a first half dunk and tip dunk off a Singleton missed jumper. While Bailey did have seven turnovers, he is a very good on-ball and help defender. Bailey knows where the opportunities to make plays are and he hunts those opportunities down.