LOS ANGELES (Neth.) – Jaylen Clark delivered an all-around performance for UCLA in his opener, both good and bad.
Clark scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had a career-high seven steals in the eighth-seeded Bruins 76-50 win over Sacramento State. Sole area coach Mick Cronin was ready to point out Clark’s five turnovers.
“He just needs to get rid of the turnover. There’s no point stealing it if you give it back right away,” Cronin said. “He’s great defensively. He has to be an elite defensive player to be great.”
But it wouldn’t hurt either if Clark could make all seven of his shots from the floor. The 6-foot-5 junior guard has mostly been off the bench for the past two seasons, but has cracked the starting lineup this season due to his defense.
“I’m involving my teammates on rebounds and assists to take the half-time break in the first half,” said Clark, who had 14 points in the second half. “In the second half they collapsed on my teammates. I felt I had chances to score. As the coach said, I need to get rid of the turnovers, but otherwise I was quite happy with how I performed.”
Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell scored 14 points each and David Singleton added 13 points for the Bruins, who shot 53.1% (34 of 64).
Cameron Wilbon and Zach Chappell each scored 10 for Sacramento State.
Jaquez scored the majority of his goals in the first half with 12 points, as the Bruins built a 39-25 lead at halftime.
Campbell scored seven points when UCLA took control midway through the first half with a 20-0 run.
The Hornets went 8-0 spurt to take a 16-12 advantage with 9:15 left before the Bruins scored 20 straight runs over the next six minutes. Seven players had baskets during the run.
UCLA started 6 of 16 from the field before making 12 of the next 16 shots to end the first half.
“They let us play, that’s what we need. They let us compete, make adjustments and work to get away from them, that’s what you want from a game like this,” Cronin said.
Sacramento State shot 34.5%, went 19 out of 55 and made 21 turnovers. The only positive was that the Hornets surpassed the Bruins 37-33.
“We have some guys who can shoot, but with the first game on the road against a Top 10 opponent, that pressure is hard to produce in practice,” said Sacramento State coach David Patrick.
State of Sacramento: The Hornets were 2 of 18 on 3s and missed 13 straights during one piece.
UCLA: It turned out to be a fun night for the Jaquez family. Jaime’s younger sister, Gabriela, had 10 points and six rebounds as the Bruins women’s team opened with a win over Cal Poly. Gabriela Jaquez is part of the top-ranked recruiting class in the country.
UCLA freshman Adem Bona did not play to serve a one-game penalty from the NCAA over an amateurism problem. The center is expected to play in UCLA’s next game.
Sacramento State: Plays Saturday in UC San Diego.
UCLA: Host of Long Beach State on Friday.
By Joe Reedy