UCLA basketball No. 19 looks to stop slippage Wednesday against Pepperdine
Pepperdine (4-1) at No. 19 UCLA (3-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Pauley Pavilion
TV/Radio: Network Pac-12/11:50 a.m.
Latest UCLA result: The Bruins lost their second straight game in an 85-80 final to No. 5 Baylor in Las Vegas. UCLA coach Mick Cronin wasn’t happy to see his team give up 51 second-half points to Virginia and 43 second-half points to Baylor. If there’s anything to take away from early season defeats, it’s the play of the team’s three leaders. Over the two games, Jaime Jaquez Jr. averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. Tyger Campbell averaged 17.0 points and 5.0 assists, and Jaylen Clark had a team-leading 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
Last result of the opponent: Pepperdine is riding a three-game winning streak under coach Lorenzo Romar, including Saturday night’s 64-55 win over UC Irvine led by Houston Mallett’s 20 points. The last time the Waves faced the Bruins at the start of the 2020-21 season, the game went into triple overtime before UCLA secured a 107-98 win. Pepperdine has several SoCal natives on its roster, including Jalen Pitre (Long Beach Poly), Malik Moore (Northridge Heritage Christian), Jay Yoon (Arcadia High), Boubacar Coulibaly (San Gabriel Academy), and Mallett (Newport Beach Pacifica Christian).
Monitoring of local team trends: UCLA is 17-1 at home since the start of last season, with the only loss coming Jan. 13, 2022, to Oregon in overtime. UCLA has scored at least one 3-pointer in its last 758 games, a streak that began after the Bruins went 0-14 from downtown in a 78-63 loss to Stanford on Feb. 3 2000.
To note: Romar, a Los Angeles native, played high school basketball for St. Pius X High in Downey and coached at UCLA as an assistant under Jim Harrick from 1992 to 1996 before becoming head coach at Pepperdine. (1996-99). After stints at Saint Louis, Washington and Arizona (associate head coach), Romar is back at Pepperdine for his second stint, which began in 2018.
Early season trips to Las Vegas have not been favorable to UCLA for the past two seasons. Last year, the Bruins beat Bellarmine but then lost big to Gonzaga (83-63) on Nov. 23. After the weekend’s two losses, UCLA is now 1-3 in the Continental Tire Main Event.
However, the improvement came from these losses. Last year, the Bruins posted five straight wins after losing Gonzaga, including victories over UNLV, Colorado and Marquette.
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