No. 5 UCLA beats Colorado in Pac-12 opener
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tyger Campbell scored 21 points and No. 5 UCLA recovered after blowing most of a 17-point, first-half lead to beat Colorado 73-61 on Wednesday night in the Bruins’ Pac-12 opener.
Johnny Juzang added 15 points and Myles Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins (7-1, 1-0 Pac-12), who overcame the loss of Jaime Jaquez Jr. midway through the first half.
Jabari Walker had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Buffaloes (6-2, 1-1). Evan Battey, their leading scorer who averages 14.9 points, was held to four points before fouling out with 6:30 remaining in the game.
After shooting 37% in the first half, the Buffs came out strong to start the second half. They outscored UCLA 21-11 to trail 48-44 despite Battey picking up his fourth foul and Walker his third.
After the Bruins stretched their lead to 54-44 on an inside basket by Jules Bernard, Battey scored to again draw the Buffs within single digits before he fouled out.
Campbell scored five in a row and Bernard hit a 3-pointer to push UCLA's lead to 62-49. The Bruins had their own foul trouble. Johnson and Jaylen Clark earned their fourth fouls within a minute of each other.
The Bruins raced to an 18-9 lead to open the game, with Johnson scoring six points, highlighted by a huge dunk.
The Buffs closed within six before UCLA ran off 11 straight points for its largest lead of the half, 33-16. Clark slammed a one-handed jam and Bernard hit a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions that capped the spurt.
GOING DOWN HARD
Jaquez got knocked on his back by Walker under the basket and went down with a thud midway through the first half. Coach Mick Cronin and a trainer came out to help Jaquez get up. He walked off under his own power and went to the locker room. He watched the rest of the game from the bench as a precaution. Walker got fouled by Bernard late in the half, crashing to the floor on his back in the paint. Walker dinged his right hand in the game's opening seconds and briefly left the game then, too.
Colorado: The Buffaloes were picked to finish sixth in the league. They beat Stanford by four points in their Pac-12 opener and had the Bruins on the ropes, but couldn't finish them off.
UCLA: The Bruins resume the bulk of their Pac-12 schedule starting Dec. 30, when they host No. 11 Arizona. Between now and then, they'll travel to Marquette and return to Las Vegas for their fourth and final game of the season in Sin City, where they'll face North Carolina. They are 14-11 in Vegas since the league tournament moved there before the 2012-13 season.
Colorado: Hosts No. 13 Tennessee on Saturday in the first of five straight home games.
UCLA: Visits Washington on Sunday in its first Pac-12 road trip of the season.
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