Friday afternoon, there was no sign of a turkey hangover, at least not from a fatigue standpoint.
UCLA held back Pepperdine 107-98 in triple overtime at San Diego State’s Viejas Arena with an extraordinary effort from three Bruins who played more than 50 minutes in a short turnover match for an already too short team.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. played all 55 minutes, Tyger Campbell played 52 and Chris Smith registered 51 with the absence of starters Johnny Juzang and Jalen Hill for a second consecutive game.
UCLA found its 3-point shot in overtime. The 22nd-seeded Bruins (1-1) were 5 for 8 from outside the arc in the extra 15 minutes, compared to a 5-for-26 performance during regulation.
“I think as the game went on we started shooting threes shot from the inside,” said UCLA coach Mick Cronin. “I want to say seven of those eight (three point attempts) were wide open.”
The biggest conversions from outside the arch came from junior guard David Singleton, who brought down early threes in the first two overtime from the same angle. Campbell and Jules Bernard made back-to-back 3s to start the final extra period, which was followed by a three-point game from Smith. That created the cushion needed to survive the Waves (1-1).
Smith finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds, a huge turnaround from Wednesday night’s lopsided loss to San Diego state when he scored just 10 points and made a mistake.
Cronin said Smith’s turnaround was due to his recovering performance compared to Smith’s zero rebound performance against the Aztecs.
“When he bounces and defends, he’s a real player,” Cronin said of the only senior of the Bruins.
Smith on his own contrast of games: “My mindset was the same, just play for myself or my teammates.”
Campbell scored 10 of his 22 points in the third extra time, seven in the final 1:40, and had seven assists (one turn over only). Jules Bernard scored a career-high 21, Jaquez Jr. added 16 points and 11 rebounds in his Iron Man appearance and Cody Riley had 13 points.
Bernard’s jump shot has made him more of a threat offensively. Known as a left-handed driver, his jump shot shone in dots on Friday. He was 7 for 15 from the field and 6 for 8 from the free-throw line.
“I’m definitely working on my jump shot more,” said Bernard. “Especially if I want the lanes to open, I have to make more jumpshots.”
Pepperdine point guard Colbey Ross also played all 55 minutes. He finished with 33 points in a record-breaking performance that made him the program’s all-time top scorer. A mistake by Jaime Jaquez Jr. while Ross was trying to make a 3 pointer, Ross gave the opportunity to enjoy the moment from the free throw line. Ross passed Stacy Davis (1786).
“Colbey Ross is as good as any point guard in college,” Cronin said. “If he wore a different uniform, everyone would know about him.”
Ross hit a floater to send the game into second extra time with an 81 draw, but missed a 3-pointer that forced a third OT.
Kessler Edwards added 17 points for Pepperdine, while Jan Zidek, whose father, George, was on the 1995 UCLA national championship team, had 14 points. Jadé Smith scored 12 and Kene Chukwuka 10.
The last time UCLA played in a three-hour game was in February 1985 when USC defeated UCLA in Pauley Pavilion 80-78. It took four times.
UCLA’s home opener against Long Beach State is scheduled for 7.30pm Monday at Pauley Pavilion.
Juzang, a sophomore security guard, is ruled “week to week” with a stress response in his right foot. Hill, a 6-foot-10 junior forward / center, is “day to day” with tendonitis in the right knee. When asked about the possible return of Juzang and Hill for Monday’s game, Cronin said, “God, I hope so.”
Both teams had chances of winning it under the regulations after UCLA blown a six-point lead. With a tie for 70, Jacquez missed a 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds to go. After an evaluation, the referees had the clock reset to 7.3 seconds. Darryl Polk Jr. van Pepperdine turned the ball over under pressure from Riley, after which UCLA threw the ball out of bounds. Pepperdine’s Smith missed a tip at the buzzer. … Bernard and Riley fell to the Bruins, while the Waves Edwards, Smith and Chukwuka lost.
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– Pac-12 Network (@ Pac12Network) November 28, 2020