LOS ANGELES — Jaime Jaquez and Jaylen Clark were appreciative of all the fans who came out to the UCLA men’s basketball game against Stanford, but during the post-game press conference, they urged even more to come to Saturday’s matchup with California.
The pair got their wish. The No. 4 Bruins beat the Golden Bears 78-43 in front of nearly 14,000 people at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night.
“That’s amazing,” Jaquez said of the attendance. “This is my last year; I’ve only got two more home games left. We’ve got a lot of seniors on this team and we want it packed for them.”
Jaquez led UCLA with 20 points and added eight rebounds in the game, which happened to fall on his birthday. Freshman Amari Bailey, who celebrated a birthday the day before, followed with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Jaylen Clark added 13 points off the bench as the Bruins (23-4 overall, 14-2 in Pac-12) shot 52% as a team and pulled down 41 rebounds.
UCLA opened the game with a 12-0 scoring run that began with a layup from Jaquez less than a minute in. By the end of the contest, California made just 22% of its shots.
“We were very concerned whether we could score against their defense coming into the game,” California coach Mark Fox said. “That concern proved to be valid. Their recovery is elite and their ability to rim-protect is elite.”
Joel Brown put up the first points for California (3-24, 2-14) on a layup roughly six minutes into the first half, but UCLA had a 12-2 lead at that point. The Bruins built on their lead in a flashy way when Adem Bona (three blocks) threw down two consecutive two-handed dunks, both with assists from Tyger Campbell (seven points).
UCLA made back-to-back 3-pointers for a 32-15 lead with under three minutes to go in the first half to rouse a packed Pauley Pavilion.
“I think we had a lot more energy today just from the start,” Bailey said. “We always talk about a full 40 minutes. This game I feel like we were very aggressive through and through.”
The crowd energy has been revered by players lately, and it’s possibly helped them win games. The Bruins are now on a 23-game win streak at home, which is the longest streak in the country, and are 15-0 in home games this season.
“We want all the fans to come out and support as much as they can,” Jaquez said. “It’s a great environment when Pauley’s packed.”
The Bruins had a 38-15 lead at the break and maintained a lead of roughly 30 points for most of the second half. A Jaquez 3-pointer brought the score to 49-19 with 16 minutes left in the game.
Jaquez made a pass to Bailey three minutes later for a one-handed dunk with few Golden Bears nearby in the paint. Bailey had a layup on the next possession to make it 57-22.
“It was good to get Amari back on track,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said of Bailey. “I thought he could be a great rebounder at the guard position. It really helps this year.”
Jaquez took to the bench about midway through the second half after scoring his 20 points, which was just shy of his season-high 27 points in December against Stanford. Bailey was kept in the game longest out of all starters and logged 31 minutes.
UCLA has four games left in the regular season and next plays at Utah on Thursday. The Bruins have the chance to pack Pauley Pavilion again when they return home on March 2 against Arizona State.