(Los Angeles, Ca) The Bruins men’s basketball team are starting off 2019 with something to smile about.
The Bruins faced the Cardinals in a season opener that ended with a 92-70 win over Stanford on Thursday night in Pauley Pavilion.
Moses Brown totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylen Hands scored 15 points and dished out a game-high six assists for UCLA, which shot 51% from the field. Prince Ali and Kris Wilkes scored 14 points apiece, and David Singleton added a career-high 13 to round out the group of Bruin double-digit scorers.
“I honestly feel good about the win,” said interim head coach Murry Bartow. “Guys played hard, competed hard, we had good preparation. We played with some emotion tonight, which was fun to see. I thought the crowd really, really helped us. You know, it was like an eight-, nine-, 10-point game and we were pressing, so I’m really grateful to the fans who came out because I thought the energy in Pauley kind of got us from that nine- or 10-point mark to maybe the 15- or 16-point mark. I thought that was a big factor in the game. Again, really proud of our guys.”
Brown and the Bruins (8-6, 1-0 Pac-12) won the battles under the basket, out-rebounding Stanford (7-6, 0-1 Pac-12) by a 46-34 margin. UCLA had a 56-30 advantage with points in the paint on Thursday night. Brown, the 7-foot-1 freshman from Queens, N.Y. made 8 of 9 shot attempts en route to his fifth double-double of the year.
“Moses Brown sprained his ankle a little bit yesterday,” Bartow said. “We weren’t even sure if he was going to play in the game, and he goes for 17 and 10.”
With the score tied up, 12-12, Hands drained an attempt from distance that sparked an 18-4 scoring run for UCLA.
Stanford missed all nine of its field goal attempts during that stretch, which culminated in a Wilkes steal and slam dunk with 8:12 to go before halftime. The Cardinal offense found life during a subsequent 10-0 run, pulling Stanford back within striking distance at 30-26.
A trio of UCLA freshmen – Singleton, Brown and Jules Bernard – scored UCLA’s final eight points of the half, sending the Bruins into the break with a 38-32 cushion.
UCLA pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Cardinal 54-38 in the final period. The Bruins extended their second-half margin to as many as 27 points, never dipping below a 10-point advantage after the 12-minute mark.
UCLA led 76-60 with 4:53 left in the game and went on a back-breaking 12-1 to move ahead 88-61 with 2:36 to play. Ali and Wilkes exploded for 12 points each in the second half. Singleton scored 10 of his season-high 13 points after the intermission.
KZ Okpala led Stanford with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Wilkes, who had 12 of his 14 points in the second half, scored in double figures for the 14th time in 14 contests this season. He continues to lead the Bruins in scoring, having averaged 17.2 points per contest.
The Bruins will return to action against California (5-8, 0-1) this Saturday afternoon in Pauley Pavilion. Game time is 1 p.m. UCLA’s game against the Golden Bears will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.
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