The Bruins’ leading scorer got caught in early foul trouble, but they managed to shut down one of the conference’s best players over the opening frame.?
UCLA men’s basketball (9-9, 2-3 Pac-12) leads Oregon State (12-6, 2-4) 27-24 at the half Thursday night in Corvallis, Oregon. Junior guard Chris Smith was leading the Bruins with six points when he subbed out with 10:32 to play following two quick fouls, and it was freshman guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. who went into the locker room with the most points.
Smith’s 12.3 points per game were the most among UCLA players entering Thursday’s matchup –?meaning he is still on pace to approach his season average by the final buzzer. The Beavers’ top-scorer, however, has not been as lucky.
Forward Tres Tinkle –?who was named to the preseason watchlist for the Naismith Player of the Year Award in November –?was averaging 19.7 points per game entering the matchup with the Bruins. UCLA’s defense managed to hold him to five points in the first half Thursday night, scoring all of his points from the charity stripe while shooting 0-of-5 from the field.
Guard Zach Reichle’s team-high 10 points made up for Tinkle’s below-average first half, and his three 3-pointers were the most by either team.
The Beavers’ offense stalled in the final six minutes of the half despite Reichle’s shot falling early. UCLA held Oregon State to 0-of-5 shooting and two points in that stretch, allowing it to take the lead going into the half.
The Bruins’ offense picked up seven assists on their 12 buckets, one of which came on a dime from redshirt senior guard Prince Ali to a cutting Jaquez that tied the game. After sophomore guard David Singleton closed out on defense on the other end, redshirt sophomore forward Cody Riley found Ali slashing to the hoop to retake the lead.
There were five total lead changes in the half, the last of which came on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Jules Bernard, giving the Bruins the 27-24 advantage they took into halftime.