Posted on March 19, 2022
In March, the name of the game is to survive and advance, and each win only counts once, whether it is dominant or a nailbiter.
UCLA was able to do enough to survive a gritty Akron squad.
The Bruins advanced despite an off night from Johnny Juzang who shot 3-for-9 from the field and finished with nine points.
It was the fourth time in the last six games that Juzang failed to reach double figures. Tyger Campbell knocked down big shots down the stretch as eight of his team-high 16 came in the last three-and-a-half minutes.
The Bruins ended the game on a 15-4 run and improved to 44-4 in NCAA Tournament games played in states along the Pacific Coast and are now 12-3 in tournament games played in Oregon.
The Bruins will get a hot team in St. Mary’s.
The Gaels are coming off a 29-point win over Indiana. It was the largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament win for Saint Mary’s, and the largest margin of defeat in NCAA Tournament history for Indiana.
St. Mary’s will be looking to advance to the Sweet 16 for just the second time ever, while UCLA is looking to return for the second time in the last two seasons, and make their 22nd trip since the Tournament expanded to 32 teams in 1975.
UCLA vs. St. Mary’s Game Notes
• UCLA is 10-2 all-time against SMC. The last meeting came in 1990 and resulted in a 123-93 Bruin win in Pauley Pavilion.
• UCLA’s 26 wins this season are the most by a Bruin team since finishing 31-5 in 2016-17.
• UCLA has advanced to the round of 32 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2014-15; also, the last time they went to the Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons.
• The 10 made three-pointers for St. Mary’s against Indiana were the most they have ever made in an NCAA Tournament game.
• The 82 points scored Thursday night by the Gaels were the second-most they have scored in an NCAA Tournament game (85, VCU, 2017).
• St. Mary’s had a 26-8 edge on points off turnovers against Indiana. The Gaels did so despite a turnover difference of just three. SMC had 10, IU had 13 TOs.
• St. Mary’s averaged 2.0 points per Indiana turnover in the opener.
• Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 15 for UCLA against the Zips. In the last five games, he has averaged 20.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.
,• The Bruins found themselves trailing by one at halftime, just the eighth time this season UCLA has trailed at the break. They are now 3-5 when trailing at half (23-2) when leading at halftime.
• SMC’s Tommy Kuhse has reached double figures in ten straight games, averaging 17.7 points per game during that stretch.
Visit his website at sercstats.com.
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