LOS ANGELES – It looked so casual.
UCLA point guard Tiger Campbell caught a quick swing pass from David Singleton and was ready to shoot, but not, as 6-foot-7 Dorian James of North Florida was running at him.
Campbell throws up – sending James off to fly – took a quick dribble to reset his legs and then buried his third 3-pointer of the starting half. It was a sign that Campbell has worked hard with his 3-point shot this season.
But the calm demeanor with which Campbell did it speaks volumes about his confidence more than anything else as he took 4 for 4 from the 3-point line to help UCLA beat North Florida 98-63 , to end Wednesday night at the Poly Pavilion. The team’s four-match season opening homestand.
Campbell made just 18 runs at 72 (25%) from beyond the arc last season. Coming into the game – despite a small sample size – he was 7 for 14. After Wednesday’s performance, he is 11 for 18 (61%). He finished the game in 26 minutes with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and no turnover.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. led the Bruins with 20 points and eight rebounds. Johnny Juzang made 17 (with three 3-pointers) and Jules Bernard added 15 points and five rebounds. Miles Johnson scored just five points but got 13 rebounds.
UCLA dominated the glass, defeating North Florida 54–24, which included 24 offensive rebounds. The last time the Bruins posted such a performance on an offensive glass was in 2008, when 25 offensive rebounds were held in a 72–63 home loss to USC.
After a minor bump in the road regarding a defensive expectation against Long Beach State on Monday night – even after a 21-point win – the Bruins (4-0) left no doubt against the Osprey (0-5).
A Campbell 3-pointer gave UCLA a 32-24 lead before the Jackies had a breakaway dunk and a 3-pointer in succession that made the score 41-26 and forced North Florida to call a timeout. did. In the North Florida timeout, Jaylen Clark was trimmed and Juzang hit a 3-pointer as part of a 19–2 run, leading to a 55–33 lead at halftime.
UCLA scored 6 for 10 from behind the arc and 23 for 46 off the ground in the first half.
It actually had more to do with a defensive effort in the second half that put North Florida on only 37% of the shooting overall.
Campbell hit his fourth 3-pointer in the second half and took 10:48 to lead 78-52. A Clark dunked on the 4:49 mark to make it 91-58.
The Bruins will now take Bellarmine on Monday night to focus on their trip to Las Vegas ahead of their performance with top-ranked Gonzaga next Tuesday at the T-Mobile Arena.
There is much more to come on this story.