Friday, January 22, 2021

UCLA squeaks by Cal at Berserkley 61-57. Bruins still undefeated and top dog in Pac-12 conf. Moves to 12-2, 8-0 for season

UCLA is ranked #24 in the AP Poll and #20 in Coaches Poll (ESPN link)


Starting 5's

UCLA Bruins

Cal Bears

20-min highlight film

Q & A's

No. 20 UCLA Downs Cal on the Road, 61-57


BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 20-ranked UCLA men's basketball team weathered a 3-point shooting storm to claim a 61-57 win over California on Thursday night at Haas Pavilion.
UCLA improved to 8-0 in Pac-12 play. The Bruins secured their 15th victory in their last 16 Pac-12 contests, dating back to last season.
With Thursday's win, the Bruins have matched the program's best start to a conference schedule (at 8-0) since the 1982-83 squad went 9-0 out of the game. The victory was UCLA's seventh in a row as the team improved to 12-2 overall.
UCLA, also ranked No. 24 in the AP poll, outshot the host Golden Bears on Thursday, 46% to 40%. The Bruins owned a 38-23 rebounding advantage, but California stayed in the game with some hot shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
"We made some adjustments defensively, and the kids did a great job with it," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "And we got the lead there late, tried to get our best defensive lineup in, and we kept them off the foul line. It was an advantage down the stretch. We knew we had fouls to give with the way we were trying to play defense, so that helped us."
California (7-9, 2-7 Pac-12) connected on 10 of 22 shots from 3-point distance, accounting for over half their points. Grant Anticevich finished with a team-leading 21 points. He connected on 5 of 5 shots from 3-point territory, becoming the first opposing player to go perfect from 3-point distance – with at least five attempts – since Portland's Jared Stohl was 5-for-5 on Nov. 26, 2009.
UCLA trailed the Golden Bears at halftime, 36-32, as California made 7 of 12 attempts from 3-point territory in the first half.
The Bruins outscored California by a 29-21 margin in the second half.
Cody Riley finished the game with 13 points, connecting on 6 of 10 shots. Jules Bernard had 11 points as UCLA's only other player to score in double figures.
Riley scored eight of his 13 points in the second half, while Bernard had seven of his 11 points after halftime.
UCLA also received key contributions from Jalen Hill (six points and a team-best eight rebounds) and Jaime Jaquez Jr. (seven points and seven rebounds).
Trailing by four at halftime, UCLA scored the first five points of the second half to take the lead and set up a back-and-forth affair.
The Bruins claimed the game's momentum with a 7-0 run – highlighted by a deep 3-pointer from David Singleton – that made it 48-43 with 11:08 to go in regulation. California hung around, even taking a one-point lead on Anticevich's fifth 3-point basket of the game (with four minutes to go).
From there, Riley hit a midrange jumper – the last of six consecutive points scored for UCLA by Riley – to give the Bruins the lead for good at 57-56 with 2:54 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Bernard hit a deep 3-pointer from the left wing to make it a two-possession game. His 3-point basket proved to be the decisive basket in UCLA's win.
UCLA finishes its Bay Area road trip with a Pac-12 showdown against Stanford this Saturday afternoon. Game time is 2 p.m. in Santa Cruz, Calif. (at Kaiser Permanente Arena). The game will be televised nationally on FOX.

Postgame Quotes – UCLA at California

UCLA 61, California 57
January 21, 2021 (Berkeley, Calif.)
Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach
on the heart the team showed at the end
“Our defense won the game for us, obviously. We stopped turning the ball over long enough. My dad in Cincinnati right now, I just hope he’s not being rushed to the hospital with some internal … I can hear him right now, ‘You might want to stop turning it over.’ But we hung in there, we kept defending. That’s the character that I want to see from our team. The only nickname I’m interested in, I gave you it at my press conference, if you remember – ‘winners’. W-I-N. That’s how you spell fun. So we found a way to win tonight despite 14 turnovers, which is very uncharacteristic. Four for Tyger [Campbell], three for Cody [Riley]. We made some adjustments defensively, and the kids did a great job with it. And we got the lead there late, tried to get our best defensive lineup in, and we kept them off the foul line. It was an advantage down the stretch. We knew we had fouls to give with the way we were trying to play defense, so that helped us.”
on Cody Riley’s play and grittiness down the stretch
“They were giving him one on one coverage, and to be honest with you, he should have had the ball a lot more than he did throughout the game. I think that would have been our best offense when he was in there. I thought he got a little tired a few times. He walked, he traveled, he got in a little bit of a hurry, got off-balance a few times. When you get in those grinders, threes aren’t falling, you’ve got to get layups, and you’ve got to have a guy who can get you a tough basket around the rim. I was trying to get him and Jaime [Jaquez Jr.] around the rim as much as possible to get us some points in the paint. I think it was 28 and 18, plus-10 in that category. That was probably the difference in the game right there.”
on Jalen Hill’s effort defensively
“Right now, Jalen’s trying to get back to being our best defender. He’s trying to get back to being an anchor for us, trying to be an elite defender in college basketball. That’s what’s going to give a chance at playing after college, is being an elite defensive player. Big, strong, athletic guy who can move his feet and give us a tremendous weapon on the defensive end. Plus, he rebounded the ball well tonight. Once again, we got 19 and 14 from the center spot, so their production has been great.”
on defending the perimeter
“They [Cal] have really improved offensively as the season has gone on. They won by 10 at Utah in their last game. They’ve become a really good team in half-court execution. They don’t over-dribble, they create help and find the open man. Mark and I are friendly. He’s a great coach. They had a lot of issues when he got the job, and he made them competitive regardless of record when you watch how they play. So credit to their passing in the first half. Their passing was great in the first half. We tried to make some adjustments at halftime so we wouldn’t have to rotate off of [Grant] Anticevich and then get back to him. We changed our pick and roll coverage where we stayed glued to him. But we still lost him a few times.”

The Box

Stats as of Jan 21, 2021

Up Next: @Stanford on Saturday, Jan 23 on National TV (Fox)!!! 

Go, Bruins!!!

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