Jaime Jaquez Jr.’s career-high 30 points power No. 17 UCLA past Washington

UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. looks to pass around the defense of Washington guard PJ Fuller.
UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. looks to pass against Washington’s PJ Fuller on Monday night in Seattle. Jaquez, a junior guard, scored 30 points and also had nine rebounds.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

By halftime Monday night, UCLA did not look ready for March. More like a team in need of a season reboot.

In a showing as dreary as the cold, wet weather outside Alaska Airlines Arena, the Bruins couldn’t make a shot and their usually sturdy defense was not offering much resistance.

The dual disappointment left UCLA in need of a comeback against Washington to avoid another bad road loss and fueling further doubt about whether the Bruins could make it to the NCAA tournament’s second weekend, much less another trip to the Final Four.


It was then that an old friend reemerged to provide a reminder of what this team can do.

Looking as spry as he has all season, Jaime Jaquez Jr. blistered the Huskies with a variety of moves. He scored on layups, turnaround jumpers, putbacks and a three-pointer while powering the No. 17 Bruins to a badly needed 77-66 victory.

During No. 12 UCLA’s busiest stretch of the season, coach Mick Cronin is ensuring players are given the needed rest and mental preparation.

Feb. 27, 2022

Those ankles that have hindered Jaquez for most of the season didn’t seem to bother him on the way to scoring 17 of his career-high 30 points in the second half. The Bruins repeatedly worked the ball inside to the junior guard, allowing him to take advantage of matchups against smaller counterparts.

“He’s a beast,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said after the game while walking past reporters gathered around Jaquez in a hallway, patting Jaquez on the shoulder.

What did the career high mean to Jaquez?

“Nothing, really,” said Jaquez, who made 11 of 17 shots and grabbed nine rebounds, with a chuckle. “I mean, I got to 30 points. It’s pretty cool. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, and I’m just trying to help the team win.”

Guard Jules Bernard scored 12 points and forward Cody Riley added seven points and a season-high 11 rebounds for the Bruins (22-6, 14-5 Pac-12 Conference), who outscored the Huskies 52-37 in the second half while shooting 59.3%.

Badly in need of a spark after trailing by four points at halftime, the Bruins found it with their defense. They held Washington (14-14, 9-9) scoreless over the first four minutes of the second half while rolling off nine straight points to take a 34-29 lead on a Jaylen Clark steal and layup.


UCLA’s David Singleton provided the knockout blow when he took a pass from Riley after Riley’s offensive rebound and buried a three-pointer to extend the Bruins’ advantage to 60-46.

UCLA arrived here having participated in the fish toss at Pike’s Place Market a day earlier, hoping for a far bigger catch.

UCLA guard Tyger Campbell drives around Washington guard Terrell Brown Jr.
UCLA guard Tyger Campbell drives around Washington guard Terrell Brown Jr. during the first half Monday in Seattle.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

The Bruins needed to beat Washington and USC this week — and get some help from Arizona, which plays the Trojans on Tuesday night — to overtake their crosstown rivals for the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament.

Piling up wins would also help the Bruins improve their NCAA tournament seeding with Selection Sunday less than two weeks away. Most bracket projections listed UCLA as a No. 4 seed, though CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm listed the Bruins as a No. 5 seed, opening the tournament in Buffalo, N.Y.

A strong close to the regular season and a couple of victories in the Pac-12 tournament could help the Bruins avoid a cross-country trip and remain on the West Coast, opening the NCAA tournament in either San Diego or Portland, Ore.


For the Bruins, this was the end of a hectic stretch in which they played six games in 12 days. They certainly looked weary in the first half, making 34.5% of their shots while missing layups and open jumpers. For Mick Cronin, coaching UCLA through the cold stretch was good practice for bigger games ahead.

UCLA goes on a big run in the second half and moves on from its dud against Oregon in a 94-55 victory over Oregon State.

Feb. 26, 2022

“We’ve just got to worry about what we can control,” Cronin said of his message to his players. “Let’s just keep getting good shots, keep defending, keep rebounding. You can’t let the ball not going in affect our energy. You can’t start doing dumb things, bad fouls, breakdowns defensively because the ball’s not going in.”

It was another encouraging effort from Jaquez, who told Cronin during warmups before the Oregon State game Saturday that it was the best he has felt in a long time. Jaquez said Monday that the pain in his ankles had “slowly evaporated, and hopefully it stays that way.”

The plan to recuperate before facing USC on Saturday night, Jaquez said, was to sleep Tuesday and get as much rest as possible. His big showing against the Huskies kept his team from more restlessness heading into the season’s most pivotal month.