CM – UCLA beat Cal State Bakersfield, but Cody Riley injured his knee in the season opener

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UCLA’s Johnny Juzang scores in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA striker Cody Riley reaches for the ball in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell was fouled when he drove to the basket at the Pauley Pavilion in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA striker Cody Riley fights for a rebound in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA striker Cody Riley grimaces in pain after injuring his left knee in the first half of the season opener Tuesday night against Cal State Bakersfield at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA striker Cody Riley grimaces in pain after injuring his left knee in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA striker Cody Riley grimaces in pain after injuring his left knee in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA players react to a basket as they watch from the bench at the Pauley Pavilion during the first half of their season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell celebrates after a 3-point basket in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday evening at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA’s Jaylen Clark takes the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin watches his team during the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA point guard Tyger Campbell hits the basket in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA fans cheer during the first half of their season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. shoots in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin instructs his team at the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday evening at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA’s Johnny Juzang shoots over Cal State Bakersfield’s Kaleb Higgins in the first half of the season opener Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

Cal State Bakersfield head coach Rod Barnes reacts at the Pauley Pavilion during the first half of the season opener against UCLA on Tuesday night. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA’s Johnny Juzang is fouled in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday evening at Cal State Bakersfield’s Kaleb Higgins’ Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin instructs his team during the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA’s Kenneth Nwuba controls the ball during the second half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin watches his team during the second half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA’s Johnny Juzang shoots at the Pauley Pavilion in the first half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin instructs his team at the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday evening at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA’s Peyton Watson (left) rebounded while teammate Jaime Jaquez Jr. looks on at the Pauley Pavilion during the second half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA guard Tyger Campbell (left) and Cal State Bakersfield security guard David Walker chase the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA guard Jules Bernard goes to the basket under pressure from Cal State Bakersfield security guard Justin McCall during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA striker Cody Riley rebounds alongside Cal State Bakersfield security guard Antavion Collum during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield security guard David Walker, center, walks under pressure from UCLA security guard Johnny Juzang (right) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 into the basket. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA guard Jaylen Clark goes for a dunk against Cal State Bakersfield striker Travis Henson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield Guard David Walker, center drives between UCLA guards Johnny Juzang (right) and Tyger Campbell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA guard Tyger Campbell is fouled by Cal State Bakersfield security guard Shaun Williams during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield Guard Antavion Collum (left) and UCLA Guard Johnny Juzang battle for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo HW Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield Guard David Walker (right) will be defended by UCLA security guard Johnny Juzang in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin reacts during the second half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

Cal State Bakersfield Guard Justin McCall goes under pressure from UCLA striker Kenneth Nwuba (14) and guard Peyton Watson (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles into the basket. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield striker Cameron Smith and UCLA guard Jaylen Clark vie for a rebound in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield security guard Shaun Williams shoots over UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr .. (AP photo / Ringo HW Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield security guard Ivan Reynolds, center, is grabbed by UCLA security guard David Singleton (right) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA security guard Jules Bernard (right) walks against Cal State Bakersfield Guards, Antavion Collum, rear, and David Walker during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles into the basket. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA security guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. shoots over Cal State Bakersfield security guard Justin Edler-Davis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Cal State Bakersfield Guard Dalph Panopio heads up against UCLA Guardian David Singleton in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA guard Johnny Juzang shoots against Cal State Bakersfield security guard Kaleb Higgins during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA guard Jaylen Clark (left) and Cal State Bakersfield security guard Ivan Reynolds attack a rebound in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. UCLA won 95-58. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin speaks to his players during a break in the second half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA striker Cody Riley collides with Cal State Bakersfield Guard Grehlon Easter during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin checks with striker Cody Riley after injuring himself in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu)

UCLA head coach Mick Cronin watches Tuesday night at the Pauley Pavilion during the second half of the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

UCLA will face Cal State Bakersfield at the Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday night during their season opener. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News / SCNG)

The UCLA men’s basketball team has made it look too easy this past week. Though the first act was an exhibition against the NCAA Division II Chico State, the dismantling of Cal State Bakersfield in the Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday night for the opening of the 95-58 season actually counted and showed the Bruins are ready for a real test.

However, the Bruins could do without starter Cody Riley after the Redshirt senior striker fell awkwardly just eight minutes into the game and grabbed his left knee while rolling back and forth in pain. After a few minutes on the court while coach and staff took care of him, he got up and walked to the bench alone, but his walk was shaky when several fans called his name.

« We won’t know about Cody’s injury until something is confirmed, » said UCLA coach Mick Cronin.

Riley, who averaged 10 points per game last season, got three rebounds in his four minutes and never returned to the game.

It could further affect the depth of the forecourt. Center Mac Etienne has sustained a possible right knee injury, according to Cronin. The 6-foot-10 newbie awaits final confirmation from medical staff about the diagnosis of the injury and a return schedule.

Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard scored 19 points each, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 14 as the runner-up Bruins led wire to wire. Tyger Campbell and Jaylen Clark each scored 10 points for UCLA (1-0).
It wasn’t long before the arena spokesman began promoting the nationally televised showdown against Villanova on Friday. The Bruins were leading 75-39 with 9:16 remainder and the graphic « # 2 UCLA vs. # 4 Villanova » was displayed on the Jumbotron prompting fans to buy their tickets.

« I have a lot of experience with Villanova from my Big East days, » said Cronin. “I know what they are about. I understand how hard they play and how physical they are, I thought (tonight) would give us a bit of a microcosm. « 

 » We have our work to ourselves on Friday night, I promise you, « he added added.

Tuseday’s result has never been in question and the lead has never been less than 28 points in the last nine minutes.

UCLA scored 47 points in the first half, but it was the defense that put things away early. The Bruins (1-0) were in the first half at 10:25 with 18:11 before they ended the half with a 26: 7 run. UCLA kept Bakersfield at 26% shooting and only scored three field goals in the last 10:02 of the first frame. The roadrunners were 3 for 17 during this stretch.

While the Roadrunners were absent, UCLA converted. The Bruins made eight of their last 15 shots to end half-time, including a 3-pointer just before Jaquez’s half-time buzzer to score 47:19 at half time.

The Bruins started the second half 5 for 6 off the ground, including two 3-points from Bernard and Juzang. The lead grew to 32 points (60-28) with more than 15 minutes remaining.

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UCLA only held Bakersfield 38% overall shooting and 50% shot from the field itself, including 13 for 27 who shot behind the bow.

The Bruins showed their depth. Ten players logged more than 15 minutes, including the promising second grader Jaylen Clark, who has been battling an illness for several weeks. Clark had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists and of course an exceptional defensive performance.

« This guy is amazing, » Cronin said of Clark. « There will be times this year when Jaylen will play point guard and then defend the center. »

“We wanted to play Bakersfield because Rod [Barnes] is known for being a defensive player. I have a lot of experience from my Big East days. I know what Villanova is about. I know what their culture stands for …  »

“You know, since what – the last time we played [together] was in early April. So you only work out small kinks and what not. We feel ready to play. We have the energy.  »

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