No. 8 UCLA men’s basketball sails past Long Beach State

LOS ANGELES — Tyger Campbell casually jogged to the left wing with his hands up as Jaylen Clark was dribbling out to the corner. Campbell caught Clark’s pass in rhythm and hoisted a 3-pointer without hesitation. It didn’t matter that Long Beach State guard Joel Murray was contesting the shot, the ball fell straight through the net for Campbell’s seventh point of the night, but it was more than that.

The senior point guard became the 60th member of UCLA’s 1,000-point club in the eighth-ranked Bruins’ 93-69 victory over Long Beach on Friday night at Pauley Pavilion.

Campbell came into the game with 996 career points and finished with 1,014 after a game-high 18 points.

“I didn’t know,” Campbell said of his milestone. “No one told me. I was in the huddle when I looked up and saw (on the Jumbotron). It was a cool moment. It means a lot.”

A catch-and-shoot 3-pointer for 1⃣,0⃣0⃣0⃣.

: Pac-12 Network
: #GoBruins

— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) November 12, 2022

There’s something sweet about the Campbell’s milestone coming by way of a 3-pointer. Campbell shot 26.7% from 3 his freshman season (24 of 90) and 25% his sophomore season (18 of 72). However, last year as a junior, Campbell’s 3-point shooting improved immensely, shooting 41% (50 of 122) from downtown.

Campbell’s recipe for improved long-range shooting is no secret. Just hard work.

“Becoming a good shooter is a process, you have to stay with it, willing to make adjustments, and be coachable. Those that do, improve,” said Mick Cronin, who coached his 100th game as the head coach of the Bruins, notching his 70th win. “I’m happy for (Tyger).”

The shot-making was contagious Friday night. UCLA (2-0) shot 9 of 25 from the 3-point line and was 6 of 12 in the first half. David Singleton scored 14 points, including four 3s on eight attempts to go with a career-high nine rebounds off the bench.

“It felt good,” Singleton said of the career-high. “But I’m just following the game plan, and doing what the coach tells me.”

Singleton and Campbell made back-to-back 3s in the first half that created a 29-16 lead.

“To me, the star of the game was David Singleton. No turnovers, led us in rebounding, and led us in no bad shots,” Cronin said.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Jaylen Clark added 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. Clark also had 16 deflections, but is adamant about getting UCLA’s single-season record for steals.

“I really want that record. I already did the math and gave myself a nice head start,” Clark said.

Clark had seven steals Monday against Sacramento State. UCLA’s single-season steals record is held by Jordan Adams, who had 95 in the 2013-14 season.

Freshman Amari Bailey had a nice stretch of three consecutive baskets with just over five minutes to play in the opening half while Long Beach (1-1) had a stretch of cold shooting, going 1 of 9 before eventually trailing the Bruins 48-33 at halftime.

Long Beach got the deficit down to 17 points three times in the second half, but it never go closer than that. Three LBSU players scored in double digits. Lassina Traore led Long Beach with 14 points, while Joel Murray and Jadon Jones each had 10.

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Bailey finished with 14 points and five rebounds and fellow freshman Adem Bona, who made his UCLA debut after serving a one-game suspension from the NCAA in Monday’s win over Sacramento State, finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

“Amari has the weight of the world on his shoulders. My job is to try to get him acclimated and get his confidence going. He’s an elite player,” Cronin said of Bailey.

UCLA now holds a 20-1 record all-time against Long Beach State (1-1) after Friday night’s win, including wins in the last nine matchups. Long Beach’s lone win came during the 2009-10 season at the 76 Classic in Anaheim.

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