No 7 UCLA Routs No 3 Arizona in Return of Fans at Pauley Pavilion

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Westwood, CA – With the fans back in attendance at Pauley Pavilion, the No. 7 UCLA Bruins (14-2, 6-1 Pac-12) routed the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats (16-2, 6-1 Pac-12) with a 75-59 victory on Tuesday night.

“By far I thought this was our most spirited 40 minutes of the year,” said UCLA head coach Mick Cronin. “Obviously, fans back helped. But I really think it was more our players excitement to play against a great team like Arizona. They are a great team. No one has held them to 59 points, or even close all season.”

The projected heavyweight matchup between two of the top Pac-12 powerhouse teams lived up to the hype within the first five minutes of the first half.

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Arizona started off strong, but their fire soon burned out.

A three-point jumper by Johnny Juzang off of an Arizona turnover gave UCLA the lead 17-16 at the 15:29 mark.

This shot sparked UCLA to take control of the game and they never let up.

From this point on, Arizona struggled to find the bottom of the net throughout the game.

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“They were 4-4 from three at the first TV timeout. From there, they were 3-24. But I thought our effort defensively disrupted them from what they are good at,” said Cronin.

The Wildcats shot just 30.7% (23-75) from the field and 25% (7-28) from three-point range.

The Bruins on the other hand shot well with 50% (32-64) from the field and 47% (8-17) from beyond the arc.

“Effort matters. I learned a long time ago. Effort matters. Our effort was awesome. I told Peyton Watson like his spirit, his athleticism, it changed the game in the first half. Just tremendous, tremendous effort from our guys,” said Cronin.

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Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard each had 15 points for the contest.

This was the first time that fans were allowed to attend a UCLA home game at Pauley Pavilion since Dec. 1.

The crowd showed up and showed out for their Bruins as it was pure pandemonium in Pauley Pavilion from the opening tip.

“First, it’s so huge having the Den back. All the Bruin support. So having all of the fans back is huge man. We missed them, so that was great. This group of guys we love these types of games. We love these big games. Everybody battled tonight man,” said Juzang.

Bruins’ guard Johnny Juzang was named this week’s Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week on January 24th. This is his second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor of the season.

This past week against Utah and Colorado, Juzang averaged 25.5 points on 58% shooting (18-31), 57% (4-7) from three-point range, and 92% (11-12) from the line.

The Bruins blocked eight shots and Jaime Jaquez Jr. led with three blocks.

“I haven’t seen Jamie jump that high in three years. He had three blocked shots. Are you kidding me? He blocked one shot I couldn’t believe it was him. But again, effort matters,” said Cronin.

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Former Bruin and NBA player Matt Barnes was also in attendance.

UCLA leads the all-time series against Arizona 61-44.

UCLA has won seven of its last nine meetings against Arizona and have recorded a five-game win streak in the series.

The UCLA Bruins host the University of California Berkeley Golden Bears on Thursday, January 27th at 6 p.m.